Black on Black

by Charles Simic

Like a fish that swims on the muddy river bottom
I press my nose at night against empty storefronts
Lingering before a bridal shop, hoping to see a ghost
Of a wedding dress that may follow after me
As I enter a movie theater, go past its trashed lobby
To sit in its darkness and silence like one of the soldiers
In the mausoleum for the war dead, not many
Here remember any longer what they fought and
Died for in such great numbers so far from home,
Before setting out for the ruins of the train station
To meet my young father on the late inbound train.


Published on January 13, 2023

First published in Harvard Review 42