Just discovered a new poet, thanks to wood s lot, where the following moving meditation is featured:

The Numbers

How many nights have I lain here like this, feverish with plans,
with fears, with the last sentence someone spoke, still trying to finish
a conversation already over? How many nights were wasted
in not sleeping, how many in sleep—I don’t know
how many hungers there are, how much radiance or salt, how many times
the world breaks apart, disintegrates to nothing and starts up again
in the course of an ordinary hour. I don’t know how God can bear
seeing everything at once: the falling bodies, the monuments and burnings,
the lovers pacing the floors of how many locked hearts. I want to close
my eyes and find a quiet field in fog, a few sheep moving toward a fence.
I want to count them, I want them to end. I don’t want to wonder
how many people are sitting in restaurants about to close down,
which of them will wander the sidewalks all night
while the pies revolve in the refrigerated dark. How many days
are left of my life, how much does it matter if I manage to say
one true thing about it—how often have I tried, how often
failed and fallen into depression? The field is wet, each grassblade
gleaming with its own particularity, even here, so that I can’t help
asking again, the white sky filling with footprints, bricks,
with mutterings over rosaries, with hands that pass over flames
before covering the eyes. I’m tired, I want to rest now.
I want to kiss the body of my lover, the one mouth, the simple name
without a shadow. Let me go. How many prayers
are there tonight, how many of us must stay awake and listen?

–Kim Addonizio

Here’s your source for all things Addonizio, including a page where you can hear her reading her poems; she even has a blog (well, there are no links, so I guess it’s actually a journal, but who’s counting?).


  1. You know, I almost wrote this same exact post yesterday morning. I’m glad you did it instead – more people should know about Addonizio!

  2. …

  3. ((reads poems)) Wow wow wow wow wow.

  4. when you read that poem, does it make you feel better, worse, or better and worse?

  5. Good poems always make me feel better… Well, maybe not Todesfuge. But this one does.

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