the suicide's room

    yi-sheng referred me to a poem by Szymborska that bears an uncanny resemblance to 'no sign before'. Creepy since I haven't come across it before.


      I'll bet you think the room was empty.
      Wrong. There were three chairs with sturdy backs.
      A lamp, good for fighting the dark.
      A desk, and on the desk a wallet, some newspapers.
      A carefree Buddha and a worried Christ.
      Seven lucky elephants, a notebook in a drawer.
      You think our addresses weren't in it?

      No books, no pictures, no records, you guess?
      Wrong. A comforting trumpet poised in black hands.
      Saskia and her cordial little flower.
      Joy the spark of gods.
      Odysseus stretched on the shelf in life-giving sleep
      after the labors of Book Five.
      The moralists
      with the golden syllables of their names
      inscribed on finely tanned spines.
      Next to them, the politicians braced their backs.

      No way out? But what about the door?
      No prospects? The window had other views.
      His glasses
      lay on the windowsill.
      And one fly buzzed---that is, was still alive.

      You think at least the note tell us something.
      But what if I say there was no note---
      and he had so many friends, but all of us fit neatly
      inside the empty envelope propped up against a cup.

      Wislawa Szymborska

07 September 2001   09:03 hours
resistance { } ny-wtc-2001-09-11