To your voice, a mysterious virtue, to the 53 bones of one foot, the four dimensions of breathing, to pine, redwood, sworn-fern, peppermint, to hyacinth and bluebell lily, to the train conductor’s donkey on a rope, to smells of lemons, a boy pissing splendidly against the trees. Bless each thing on earth until it sickens, until each ungovernable heart admits: “I confused myself and yet I loved—and what I loved I forgot, what I forgot brought glory to my travels, to you I traveled as close as I dared, Lord.”
Copyright © 2014 by Ilya Kaminsky. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on March 7, 2014.
About this Poem
"This piece is from the unfinished manuscript Deaf Republic. This story of a pregnant woman and her husband living during an epidemic of deafness and civil unrest was found beneath the floorboards in a house in Eastern Europe. Several versions of the manuscript exist."
Born in Odessa, Ukraine, in 1977, Ilya Kaminsky is the author of Deaf Republic (Graywolf Press, 2019).
Date Published: 2014-03-07
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/toast