The Posthumous Life of Childhood

Peter Gizzi

                            The sun

                                in the chest

                                like a spell,

                                like folly,

                                wept I

                                and when

                                soot turns

                                to gravel

                                in the mind,

                                revealing a bad

                                morning light,

                                then am I

                                a refinery flame,

                                a cylinder,

                                a payload

                                unto nigh.

                                I’m cold,


                                A clinical


                                grips the voice.

                                The wind

                                drives snow,

                                the I remains



                                the ruins of


                                To be in time,

                                this theater feeling,

                                but I forgot

                                the line,


                                limited by

                                the hour,

                                I saw that


                                my body,

                                that inner star.

Peter Gizzi is the author of Now It’s Dark, Sky Burial: New and Selected Poems, and Archeophonics, a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award, among other collections.
Originally published:
September 1, 2022


Rachel Cusk

The novelist on the “feminine non-state of non-being”
Merve Emre


Renaissance Women

A new book celebrates—and sells short—Shakespeare’s sisters
Catherine Nicholson

Fady Joudah

The poet on how the war in Gaza changed his work
Aria Aber

You Might Also Like


Tomaž Šalamun


Sign up for The Yale Review newsletter and keep up with news, events, and more.