Cantilever

John Ashbery

I knew we should have stopped back there
by the pudding station
but the pudding people were so – well –
full of themselves.

The Sphinx didn’t want us to come this far
even though we answered her questions
and threw in a bonus answer: “As honey is to the jaguar.”

And we so well all along too –

Coming up is the world’s longest single cantilever span.
I am numb with thrips.

John Ashbery (1927–2017) was a poet whose many collections of poetry include Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, which won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Originally published:
October 1, 1995

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