I tried all afternoon…

Stephen Kuusisto, Letters to Borges

I tried all afternoon

To translate a poem

Something about a silver toothpick

And a gathering

Of metaphysicians

All of this so long ago

When shadows were thought

To have certain qualities

Of the soul—

There was no idle talk

In all of Greece.


Beside me

A rose

In a glass beaker

And a cold cup

Of Russian tea.


A shadow falls over your hands

Late at night

As the meal ends.

On the edge of death

One thinks

Of teeth.



Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

One thought on “I tried all afternoon…”

  1. I find much stillness and calm here this morning, reading your poetry. Thank you for that. I am otherwise so filled with anger and dread that I hardly know what to do.


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