Two Poems

Charles Simic

Sweetest

Little candy in death’s candy shop,
I gave your sugar a lick
When no one was looking,
Took you for a ride on my tongue
To all the secret places,

Trying to appear above suspicion
As I went about inspecting the confectionery,
Greeting the owner with a nod
With you safely tucked away
And melting to nothing in my mouth.

Our Old Neighbour

Who hasn’t been seen in his yard
Or sitting on his front porch
For what seems like for ever,
Whose house stays dark at night,
The garage closed, the great
Hearse of a car parked in the back.

Whom, nevertheless, we suspect
Of spying on us at all hours
From behind drawn curtains,
His absence and our alleged presence
Casting shadows on this street
Of almost identical homes

Where an odd rush wind in the leaves
Now and then makes us imagine
We are hearing muffled voices
Where in truth there is no one,
Only an upstairs window partly open
Over his surprisingly well-kept lawn.