Drunk and weeping. It’s another night
at the live-in opera, and I figure
it’s going to turn out badly for me.
The dead next door accept their salutations,
their salted notes, the drawn-out wailing.
It’s we the living who must run for cover,
meaning me. Mortality’s the ABC of it,
Harvey Shapiro, born January 27, 1924, is the author of The Sights Along the Harbor: New and Collected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 2009), How Charlie Shavers Died and Other Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 2001), and National Cold Storage Company: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 1988), among others. He died on January 7, 2013.