The First to Go

This reading was recorded by Alessandro Mistrorigo for Phonodia in Venice, Italy, on the 15th of October, 2013.

Read by Philip Morre on 15 October 2013

The First to Go

For Charles

That’s how I’ll always see you, turning to wave
at the foot of the bridge in your long dark coat,
a bit mauve under the eyes, but coming on brave,
holding it together, more or less:
it must have been the last
or secondlast time that we met

Well, one of us had to be
the first to go,
and it turned out to be me

I tell you, I hadn’t expected
to wake up at all – certainly not here,
in this Old Folks’ Home of the soul,
where no seasons leaven the year,
and the light is even and unreflected,
where we palely patrol morning to night
– if we had mornings, if we had nights

Always, old friend, is a word, is a world,
that surprises us slowly

from The Sadness of Animals (Canterbury: San Marco Press, 2012).

Share this Poem with your co-workers or friends