American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Passage · Poetry

Raymond Carver

I talk to myself like this.
Saying the names of things —
capstan, hawser, loam, leaf, furnace.
Your face, your mouth, your shoulder
inconceivable to me now!
Where did they go? It’s like
I dreamed them.  The stones we brought
home from the beach lie face up
on the windowsill, cooling.
Come home. Do you hear?
My lungs are thick with the smoke
of your absence.

— Raymond Carver, from “A Forge, and a Scythe,” All of Us: The Collected Poems. (Vintage; Reprint edition May 25, 2015) Originally published 1988.


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