Poem of the week: At the Grave of Baudelaire

A new work by Paula Bohince

French poet Charles Pierre Baudelaire (1821-1867). Photograph: Etienne Carjat/Getty

French poet Charles Pierre Baudelaire (1821-1867). Photograph: Etienne Carjat/Getty

 

Rained-on moss a part of it, emblem of a man
hidden at the edge of a quadrant.
Are letters filled with smut unloved, alone?
The prone body, dissolved by time, mustn’t
it reassemble, briefly, ever? No matter, no more, no
sense of footfalls above the bed.
Accomplishment of phrases, printer-wet,
come to this. Strolling the scrolls
and pall of morning mist, damp gris et vert,
the flowers and the virus, his words exhaled here,
where subtle birds land on angels.
They’re blood-wheels awhile, able to choose
the nest or another slab or someplace mysterious,
complex as a mother or death or happiness.

Paula Bohince is the 2020 John Montague International Poetry Fellow in University College Cork and among this year’s readers at the Cork International Poetry Festival (March 25th-28th)