I Ask Percy How I Should Live My Life by Mary Oliver
MARGINALIA • SKIP TO THE POEM
I am all melancholy and mellowed. It’s probably the wine. It’s nice here outside: the breeze is warm, the houses are still all lit.
It’s one in the morning. I think. I’m full of food. And memories, and things left unsaid.
The stars are winking, as if to say, you can be happy, too, even if you’re sad. It’ll be our little secret. Yes, I’ll drink. Another glass for me and the sky. Another for you, dear reader, and for your hurts, and for your happiness. If I could give you a gift, this is it. Also, a kiss.
I Ask Percy How I Should Live My Life (Ten)
Love, love, love, says Percy.
And hurry as fast as you can
along the shining beach, or the rubble, or the dust.
Then, go to sleep.
Give up your body heat, your beating heart.
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This poem appeared in Red Bird by Mary Oliver, published by Beacon Press, 2008. Shared here with profound gratitude.
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