DREAM SONG 51: OUR WOUNDS TO TIME, FROM ALL THE OTHER TIMES by John Berryman
Our wounds to time, from all the other times,
sea-times slow, the times of galaxies
fleeing, the dwarfs’ dead times,
lessen so little that if here in his crude rimes
Henry them mentions, do not hold it, please,
for a putting of man down.
Ol’ Marster, being bound you do your best
versus we coons, spare now a cagey John
a whilom bits that whip:
who’ll tell your fortune, when you have confessed
whose & whose woundingsâ€”against the innocent stars
& remorseless seasâ€”
â€”Are you radioactive, pal? â€”Pal, radioactive.
â€”Has you the night sweats & the day sweats, pal?
â€”Pal, I do.
â€”Did your gal leave you? â€”What do you think, pal?
â€”Is that thing on the front of your head what it seems to be, pal?