Biographical Sketch

I’ve been a soft touch, a rough ride, I took shots
at congressmen, left an outrageous tip
for a waif whose hand was shaking

as she poured my tea. I made the sound of a wolf
in Naomi’s bedroom, was shabby
at her wedding, sulking

while pinning an amorous note
to her gown. I refused to cross a picket line
then bought a handsome silk shirt

sewn in the most downtrodden district in China.
This when I was learning how to be a person,
which right now’s an unfinished symphony.

But when I think of Mozart on his deathbed,
penning his own requiem, I can’t abide my irony.
Nobody warned me about the solemn passages,

when we know no one, when we could die
far from home with our bungled furies and crushes
yammering beside us: Not yet, not yet.

Copyright © 2018 Ira Sadoff. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Summer 2018.