Ghosts of all my lovely sins,
Who attend too well my pillow,
Gay the wanton rain begins;
Hide the limp and tearful willow.
Turn aside your eyes and ears,
Trail away your robes of sorrow,
You shall have my further years,—
You shall walk with me tomorrow.
I am sister to the rain;
Fey and sudden and unholy,
Petulant at the windowpane,
Quickly lost, remembered slowly.
I have lived with shades, a shade;
I am hung with graveyard flowers.
Let me be tonight arrayed
In the silver of the showers.
Every fragile thing shall rust;
When another April passes
I may be a furry dust,
Sifting through the brittle grasses.
All sweet sins shall be forgot;
Who will live to tell their siring?
Hear me now, nor let me rot
Wistful still, and still aspiring.
Ghosts of dear temptations, heed;
I am frail, be you forgiving.
See you not that I have need
To be living with the living?
Sail, tonight, the Styx’s breast;
Glide among the dim processions
Of the exquisite unblest,
Spirits of my shared transgressions.
Roam with young Persephone,
Plucking poppies for your slumber …
With the morrow, there shall be
One more wraith among your number.
From Enough Rope (Boni & Liveright, 1926) by Dorothy Parker. This poem is in the public domain.