The Whole World's Sadly
Talking to Itself (W B Yeats)

--James Tate 
Hands full of sand, I say:
take this, this is what I have saved;
I earned this with my genius,
and because I love you... 
take this, hurry.
I am dropping everything.
And I listened:
I was not saying anything;
out of all that had gone into
the composition of the language
and what I knew of it
I had chiselled these words--
take this, hurry--
and you could not hear me.
I had said nothing.
And then I am leaving, 
making ready to go to another street,
when you, mingled between sleep
and delirium, turned, 
and handed me an empty sack:
take this, friend;
I am not coming back. The ghost
of a flower poised on your lip.

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