Borrowed Words

Poem by Frank O’Hara (1926-66)


Light clarity avocado salad in the morning
after all the terrible things I do how amazing it is
to find forgiveness and love, not even forgiveness
since what is done is done and forgiveness isn’t love

and love is love nothing can ever go wrong
though things can get irritating boring and dispensable
(in the imagination) but not really for love
though a block away you feel distant the mere presence
changes everything like a chemical dropped on a paper
and all thoughts disappear in a strange quiet excitement
I am sure of nothing but this, intensified by breathing

From Frank O’Hara: Selected Poems (Carcanet Press)

*Much of Frank O'Hara's poetry was based on his life in New York