On Discovering at Dinner that Adam Zagajewski and I Share a Birthday

Anne Carson

‘… metals talking among themselves, metals that first meet above the earth …’
Adam Zagajewski, Another Beauty

I thought about it walking home.

One of those relentlessly clear midwest midnights frozen all the way up to a half
moon loose in her steam in blueblack vastness. Silent silent. A gnostic night.
No blackbirds.
Share a birthday! –

were we

negatives lying side by side in the developer’s tray while certain weird red minutes
drained away? Or loitering together in that lobby in heaven where June 21st souls
all gather to wait
and Adam and I

(avoiding Sartre)

ducked to a corner to talk about scansion. He mentioned, as always, Catullus.
I would have liked a cup of tea. This was shortly
after the big bang.
Microwaves

hissed past us

like bad radio stations. There was a desolation here and there in our minds.
Knives were singing, Adam made a note about this. A philosopher (not Sartre)
stood in a knot of disciples
expounding

the difference between

[two concepts that must be distinguished]. Most wore shaggy furs or sheepskins,
the philosopher a heavy sweater. ‘It will be warmer after we’re born,’
I said to Adam
and he said,

Of this I am not sure.’