The Modern Sentence

A table-top buried under crockery
left there since the last meal.
Two people fervently kissing on a bench
before their train pulls in.

The knees that hurt on the metro.
The hands that sweat at work.
All the coffee in the morning.
And none of the sex at night.

The waiting rooms in hospitals
with their blue plastic chairs and used pens.
The white squid on the fish counter spasming,
as if still breathing.

The air that shifts from one pressure
to another. And the stuff that blows with it.
The leaves that clog the drains
when it’s rained too much.

The modern sentence
never forming more than
fragments. A paucity of action
in a five-day week.


James Gray


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