A song

I wish you were here, dear,

I wish you were here. 

I wish you sat on the sofa 

and I sat near. 

The handkerchief could be yours, 

the tear could be mine, chin-bound. 

Though it could be, of course, 

the other way around.

I wish you were here, dear, 

I wish you were here. 

I wish we were in my car 

and you’d shift the gear. 

We’d find ourselves elsewhere, 

on an unknown shore. 

Or else we’d repair 

to where we’ve been before.

I wish you were here, dear, 

I wish you were here. 

I wish I knew no astronomy 

when stars appear, 

when the moon skims the water 

that sighs and shifts in its slumber.

I wish it were still a quarter 

to dial your number.

I wish you were here, dear, 

in this hemisphere, 

as I sit on the porch 

sipping a beer. 

It’s evening, the sun is setting; 

boys shout and gulls are crying. 

What’s the point of forgetting 

if it’s followed by dying? 




Joseph Brodsky (Iosif Aleksandrovi─Ź Brodskij, Russia, 1940 – USA, 1996)

Cover: Tavares Strachan at Venice Art Biennale 2019 (ph. Diana Marrone)

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