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Poetic License: ‘No Great Thanks to you, Cavafy’

By Staff | Mar 12, 2019

Joe Pacheco

Inside their worn, tattered bodies

sit the souls of old men.

Constantine P. Cavafy

No great thanks to you, Cavafy,

for telling me

the souls of old men

sit inside their wrinkled bodies

unhappy about everything

except being alive

to be unhappy.

As I sit outside

on my screened lanai

reading you, Constantine,

don’t you think I would cast aside

this shabby winter coat of body

if I thought the silver inner bird of me

could last fifteen minutes

in the cold wild outside the cage?

Byzantine Bard,

I sailed your book to find Ithaca

but instead washed up on a metaphor

of old men’s souls sitting inside

their wrinkled outsides.

With metaphor mongers like you,

who needs enemies?