Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


A Certain Slant of Sunlight

In Africa the wine is cheap, and it is
on St. Mark's Place too, beneath a white moon.
I'll go there tomorrow, dark bulk hooded
against what is hurled down at me in my no hat
which is weather: the tall pretty girl in the print dress
under the fur collar of her cloth coat will be standing
by the wire fence where the wild flowers grow not too tall
her eyes will be deep brown and her hair styled 1941 American
      will be too; but
I'll be shattered by then
But now I'm not and can also picture white clouds
impossibly high in blue sky over small boy heartbroken
to be dressed in black knickers, black coat, white shirt,
      buster-brown collar, flowing black bow-tie
her hand lightly fallen on his shoulder, faded sunlight falling
across the picture, mother & son, 33 & 7, First Communion Day, 1941--
I'll go out for a drink with one of my demons tonight
they are dry in Colorado 1980 spring snow. 

Credit


From Selected Poems by Ted Berrigan, published by Penguin Poets. Copyright © 1994 by Alice Notley, Executrix of the Estate of Ted Berrigan. Reprinted by permission of Alice Notley. All rights reserved.

Author


Ted Berrigan

Ted Berrigan authored more than 20 books and was a central figure in the second generation of the New York School of Poets. 

Date Published: 1994-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/certain-slant-sunlight