Did Not Come Back

Lucie Brock-Broido

In the roan hour between then & then again, the now, in the Babel
Of a sorrel ship gone horizontal to a prow of night, the breach of owls
Abducted by broad light, but blind, in the crime, the titanesque of rare
Assault--we who have come back--petitioning, from the chair
Electric with bad news, from the stunning, from the narrows
Of an evening gall, from the mooring of an hour slanted on the follow
Bow, she rose from a bed of Ireland like a flyted trout, a shiny
Marvel on the sailor's deck, an apologia--divining--
As once, as at a salted empire port, he washed
Her fleeted body & they lied, the best of them, the cream & crush
Of this, the madrigal & sacrifice of that, the best of them,
The slowest velvet suffocation of their kind, did not come
Whittled back by autumn, at an hour between thorn & chaff,
Not come riddled with oblivion, the crossing & a shepherd's staff,
The moment between Have & Shall Not Want, we who have salt
Always know, that we who have--the best of us--did not come back.
From The Master Letters by Lucie Brock-Broido, published by Alfred A. Knopf. Copyright © 1997 by Lucie Brock-Broido. Reprinted by permission of the the publisher and author. All rights reserved.

Poems by This Author

A Meadow by Lucie Brock-Broido
What was it I was hungry about. Hunger, it is one
After the Grand Perhaps by Lucie Brock-Broido
After vespers, after the first snow
Carrowmore by Lucie Brock-Broido
All about Carrowmore the lambs
Domestic Mysticism by Lucie Brock-Broido
In thrice 10,000 seasons, I will come back to this world
Dove, Interrupted by Lucie Brock-Broido
Donít do that when you are dead like this, I said,
How Can It Be I Am No Longer I by Lucie Brock-Broido
Winter was the ravaging in the scarified
Periodic Table of Ethereal Elements by Lucie Brock-Broido
Real Life by Lucie Brock-Broido
Soon the electrical wires will grow heavy under the snow.

Further Reading

Related Poems
The Sweetwater Caverns
by Kimiko Hahn
This Did Not Happen
by Thylias Moss
by Linda Pastan