Hospice

John Talbot

No, shut those blinds. I’d rather not
        be shown the evening star.
Venus? We knew her well. She used
            to fuse us in her stare.
But she is still herself, and we
            are not the two we were.

Give me lamplight from the guttering
            bulb. Let love now mean
me recycling fluids, you
            mired in your magazine,
till I slip through these catheters
            mid-paragraph, unseen.

John Talbot is a classicist and the author of The Alcaic Metre in the English Imagination, The Well-Tempered Tantrum, and Rough Translation. His work appears in Poetry, The New Criterion, The American Scholar, and elsewhere.
Originally published:
June 1, 2022

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