“diogenes tries to forget” by Mary Karr

it’s one of those days when everything is half-off,
half-on. my shirt, for example, which i notice
is buttoned wrong while staring in the diner window.
i think i want a slice of pecan pie, some life
sweeter than this, life my childhood in texas.
there’s no pie today, just you,
by accident again, bent over your coffee
like the “v” the geese fly south.
it’s a fall day. because we’re melancholy,
we kick leaves, pick up rocks to consider
tossing them at dogs. i only breath with one lung
since you’ve been gone, you say. and i love you
with one hemisphere of my brain,
the dumb one, which forgets.


Mary Karr, via Poetry Magazine, June 1981