The White Kitchen

The White Kitchen

Yes, you are gone
and I believe that bodies rot
when buried in the ground,

though as to what happens
to living creatures
that walk their peripheries

in a distant town
I am helpless to say.
Not dead then, but distant.

On the occult telephone
your voice sounds
as oddly rushed as from the ether,

summoned by a crone.
I can add nothing new
to metaphysical conjecture,

I am no oiled and bound Egyptian,
have no name for what’s been done
here in your absence’s white kitchen.


from Seaway: New and Selected Poems (Salmon Poetry, 2008), © Todd Swift 2008, used by permission of the author

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2After riding the escalator back

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1A Ceremony of Carols at Cripplegate

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3Ballad of the Solitary Diner

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4Down from St John's Wood

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5Emperor

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6For the Boy in the Choir With Tourette's

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7French Poem

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9God has left us like a girl

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12I Think of Delmore Schwartz, Beside My Sleeping Love

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13In My Father's Briefcase

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14It's not a poem unless it's seen

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15Ivo, Marianopolis, 1984

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16Jean Talon, Intendant of New France, To The King

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17Library Going

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20Note to the Editor

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27The Ailment

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28The Call

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30The Recording Artist

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31The Safe Years

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32The White Kitchen

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33These Days

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34Tomsk

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35Trees

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36Water, Running

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37When all my disappointments came at once

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38Woman at a Station

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