2 poems by Franz Wright
You do look a little ill.
But we can do something about that, now.
The fact is you’re a shocking wreck.
Do you hear me.
You aren’t all alone.
And you could use some help today, packing in the
dark, boarding buses north, putting the seat back and
grinning with terror flowing over your legs through
your fingers and hair . . .
I was always waiting, always here.
Know anyone else who can say that.
My advice to you is think of her for what she is:
one more name cut in the scar of your tongue.
What was it you said, “To rather be harmed than
harm, is not abject.”
Can we be leaving now.
We like bus trips, remember. Together
we could watch these winter fields slip past, and
never care again,
think of it.
I don’t have to be anywhere.
You are riding the bus again
burrowing into the blackness of Interstate 80,
the sole passenger
with an overhead light on.
And I am with you.
I’m the interminable fields you can’t see,
the little lights off in the distance
(in one of those rooms we are
living) and I am the rain
and the others all
around you, and the loneliness you love,
and the universe that loves you specifically, maybe,
and the catastrophic dawn,
the nicotine crawling on your skin—
and when you begin
to cough I won’t cover my face,
and if you vomit this time I will hold you:
everything’s going to be fine
I will whisper.
It won’t always be like this.
I am going to buy you a sandwich.