Index of Last Lines

An ongoing compendium of last lines of all poems featured on Read A Little Poetry

2. The easy way: get to know him better.

& now.

& someone stands there waiting

& that necessary.

a blue cup fallen from someone’s hands.

a crepitant fragrance.

a dog. What can I do but be happy for him?

a feather in your cap

a friend of mine. See, I hold her face in trembling, passionate hands.

A healing.

A light would pass over her face.

A love like that can ruin you for love.

a lucky star.

A moment later I’ll be gone.

a peace we could rise to.

a rotting log.

A sense of obligation.”

     about it

about love. Now there is nothing left but this.

accepts the sacrifice and turns away.

After twenty years.

–after which our separating selves become museums filled with skilfully stuffed memories


Again. His breath stops, and we are all speechless.

against its own best time.

All I want to do is smoke.

all its memories.

all the same.

all these liberations.

all these years to forgive?

almost, like mating cries.

Along its ledges urged me don’t, don’t jump.

Always impossible to finish.



Am I supposed to make out of this crap?”

    Am quite myself again.

among strange, dark trees, flapping and screaming.

an open eye

and a child and her father cross the glistening street.

and anger moment by moment balanced.

and are we standing now, quietly, in the new life?

And because it is my heart.”

and because it was I.

and bending to be never broken

and bow their heads.

And bowing not knowing to what

and calling the ravens, and the ravens are flying in.

and can wound others with such deadly ease?

and caught the scent of lavender and stone.

and clutches what it must release.

and delicious to lose everything.

          and do not even own clothing.

And don’t have any kids yourself.

and doves in the silk of their sorrow stumbled.

and drowned it.

and fear lit by the breadth of such calmly turns to praise.

And Finished knowing — then —

and getting more precious all the way

and harder than what passes there for life.

and has failed.

And have you changed your life?

and her toes turn like scallops in the grass.

And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

and I get more and more cockeyed with gratitude.

And I let the fish go.

and I will learn to love you as a zebra whom I did not love as a human being.

and in that way, be known.

And in the deep valleys of the hand.

And in which darkness it can best be proved.

and it will.

and joy may come, and make its test of us.

and listen to each other breathe.

and love you so much

and loving.

And miles to go before I sleep.

and more light than we can imagine.

and moves like a hinge in the air above our bed.

and my arms won’t move

And not forget this constant love of Trude’s.

and not one letter separates stained from sainted.

And not waving but drowning.

And nourishment in death.

and political

and returns.

And she said, Ok, still looking in that direction.

and sing what you hear.

and so cold

And so dear when ruined.

And spit out the teeth.

and spring is in the air.

And stepped back in.

and still can’t.

and sweat and fat and greed.

And the deep river ran on.

and the delicate sadness of dusk.

and the doors of darkness open.

And the gears notch and the engines wheel.

and the knob turns.

and the love whatever it was, an infection.

and the rain came down like a lover comes to a bed.

and the weakness too is love, a constant falling.

And the world owes me nothing.

and then moves on.

and then you will wash your face.

and there never was.

and there’s no story if there’s no hope of change.

and these the last verses that I write for her.

And things just keep going. I guess.

and watched him, knowing, satisfied.

And went with half my life about my ways.

And what is more generous than a window?

and white, still undeveloped.

and words we can grow old and die in.

And would suffice.

and write this down.

And yes.

And yet they expose me more than all my other poems.

and you keep quiet and I will go.

Another fact: We fall in love twice. Maybe more, if we’re lucky.

Answer: be the bird. Answer: be the sky.

any early morning talk about it.

any more.

Apples sweeten in the dark.

are about to die

are going to be, is who and how we best love.

are my startled guests as this morning proceeds normally

are there tonight, how many of us must stay awake and listen?

Are tiny, tiny on my windowpane.

as a guide from beyond.

As always I was beside myself.

as around the edges of the great swamp.

As far as Cho-fu-Sa.

As far as Cho-fu-Sa.

As I do now?

as I say, more than it was called for.

as if it were a life.

as if to make amends.

as if to return the embrace.

as it does each day.

as long as you want.”

as possible in the fields of barley and weeds.

as she said the word, Camel.

As the unanswered challenge to the dreamer’s art.

as they made their turn into the empty highway.

As you walk beside it on its long couch.

Ask what it has witnessed.

Asters bloom one way or another.

at a table by the harbor and drink half a beer.

At center my heart is red and true.

at magpahanggang-wakas lambat lamang ng ulan.

at once like a pitcher with light.

At, sa tingin ko, hindi na, hindi babalik.

awakened in the middle of the night.

away, or on—by forms and forces greater than you are.

ay naaagnas ding marahang-marahan…

back into place.

back towards me.

be exiled, never again, from your arms.

Be ignited, or be gone.

beautiful? wasn’t she beautiful?

because I want life to return the favor.

because the chair is there.

because you shake its leaves.

Been decided that if you lie down no one will die.

before someone else. Everything, I said.

before you’re really dead?

begging scraps.

Begin again the story of your life.

behind him

belongs to me.

beloved on the earth.

beneath a heavy snow of sheets.

beyond this work and this gift of struggle.

big heap of driftwood on the beach.

Biting into it!


Blind fool who passed me by!



breathing. All of life.

Brilliant day, deserted house.

bulge of the hip-joint, border of the pelvic cradle.

Burn me!

bursting with haves

but always says the wrong thing.

but because it never forgot what it could do.

but Desire is not.

But here you have. It’s beautiful. It’s strange.

But how those two nights are worlds apart, look, for heaven’s sake.

But I don’t think it is weird that I put him in this poem

but just coming to the end of his triumph.

but nothing else, nothing else.

But that I volunteered.

But the corkscrew had gone as well.

but there is this.

but wood, with a gift for burning

But, what of that?


by how little they asked.

calling and calling his name.

Catching of happiness is called.

cheek of earth and say, “There, there, child.”

city was lit.

clear. What we need is here.

clenching and opening one small hand.

cling to it as to a life line.

cling to your knife.

closes, opens.

colors from white to silver.

come back to, this is your hand.

Come down to you.

comfortless, so let evening come.

Could anyone alive survive it?

crackle after the blazing dies.

cross my legs like his, and listen.


dark though it is

Days you are sick, we get dressed slow.

Death of the Zeitgeist

Deep in the mountain.

deep, blue night?

define language that speaks the truth.

Despite the falling snow.

Diminishing, our own getting in the way.

Direct as the need of throat and tongue for speech.

disappear on the black waters of Lethe?


do have meaning. They’re strong as rocks.

Do not tell me it was just a misunderstanding.

Doesn’t particularly like you, but gives up, and comes in.

Don’t breathe upon my neck so much.

dress they bury me in.

Drying inward from the edge.

Each minute the last minute.

Each one, becoming finned and whole, swims off.

Echoes of departure keep resounding in the air.

Enough praise, enough rope.

entered the pit I did not want ever to come up out of it.

eons-deep before I was born, a meteor.

especially when they fight, and when they sing.

Even in winter, even in the rain.

Everything else was failure.



Eyes open, uncovered to the bone.

fades, we fade.

falls in this world.

Feel it.

fell open, I did not go through.



First an ego, and then pain, and then the singing.

first steps across a room.


For my returning.

For nothing now can ever come to any good.

For one thing, it’s late. And the truth is laborious.

for the dead to pass.

for the having.

For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.

for weeks, no land was visible.

for your looking and laughing.

Frankly, my dear, frankly, my dear, frankly

from a house already built.

from the volumes of what couldn’t be said.

G’bye, I’m going out to play!

gazing at flowers.

gazing at the clouds.

Giving and taking, perfectly understood.

Glum was the woman in the ostrich feather hat.

go light


good news, good news.

grab each other

gradually taught me the meaninglessness of that term.

granted in the waking world.

had been saying.

Had turned to a living song.

Half past twelve. How the years have passed.

happening more quickly.

Happy little pair.

happy to have them simply answered.

Haunts me night and day.

have invaded it searching for food

have my seat,” “Go ahead — you first,” “I like your hat.”

Have you no thought, O dreamer, that it may be all maya, illusion?

having emptied her hands.

He’s not coming back. And it will be the first time you believe it.

Her broad feet shovelled up the world.

Her own clasped hands

here or not here.

Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye.


History says: here are the blankets, layer on layer, down and down.

Hold hard then, heart. This way at least you live.

how a little love goes a long long long way.

how I wanted to laugh.

how small they were, how far away.

Hudyat ng tag-ulang bubugso, kakalat.

I always blame the moon.

I am going to buy you a sandwich.

I am in your life forever.

I am the captain of my soul.

I ask him only to stay.

I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder.

I ask pardon for one thing: I loved you before.

I beg you do not go

I can break your heart.

I can live like this

I cannot see beyond it. I cannot see beyond it.

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

I do it for love. For love, I disappear.

I do not think it goes all the way

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

I empty myself of my life and my life remains.

I even embrace the pain.

I had absolutely nothing to do with.

I have as much freedom as I take.

I kissed my father.

i leave to forgive me

I let it walk away.

I love you. I’m glad I exist.

I make my lament against destruction.

I mean everything.

I never saw light that way again.

I once knew an eccentric electrician.

I promise to be happy tomorrow.

I promise.

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

I romp with joy in the bookish dark.

I said yes.

I see Mike’s painting, called SARDINES.

I should retire at half-past eight?

I skin my knees. I bleed.

I stay and go: I am a pause.

I still shall keep my true-red heart.

I still want to kill the carrots because I can.

(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I think I’ll be alone for a little while.

I think. Found and harbored.

I turned to say something—

I want. Only that. But that.

I was asleep while you were dying.

I was glad to draw my breath.

I was just whispering into her mouth.

I will constitute the field.

I will love you, again.

I’ll be whole again.

i’m a bestseller

I’m ashamed we failed at forever.

I’m home.

I’m in Paris with you.

I’m on my knees. I beg of you.

If I could tell you I would let you know.

If I loved you, being this close would kill me.

If I suffered what else could I do

 If this is Wednesday, it’s trash night.

if only there had been a flower.

if over and over.

If you can resolve, at last, to pay attention.

if you’re going to say “I lived”…


imagining a tower.

impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

In a particular dream, they cannot always be seen.

In beauty.

in each place and forever.

in every new and beautiful light.

in my hand.

in our bed to reach the body within the body.

in some other place.

in the direction I needed to be going.

in the family of things.

in the head, filling and pounding, a kicked ear.

in the last.

in the raw wind of the new world.

in the sound of your name?

in this way.

in you.

in your palm, the ripe weight.

in your renouncing is it truly there.

into aliens

invite you to the long party that your life is.

is all my own and what that ever got me.

is allowed, considering

is also a wound to the mind.

Is but a child’s balloon, forgotten after play.

is higher than the sky

is holding.

is long enough.

is love — that’s all.

is slender and her red hair lights the wall.

is still a bell.

is that you can do it.

is the most beautiful lie

is the pulse of your scent.

isn’t it enough that riverbanks come in pairs?

It appears the gift could not be refused.

it cracks. You put on its face when it sees us.

It ends.

It gives a lovely light!

It is a false spring this year.

It is always brimming May.

It is stronger than prayer.

It is that simple.

It meant I loved.

it said, go to it.

it takes something different with it every time.

It was always the other way round.

It was just a stupid body, closed up and voracious.

It was my husband paying tribute to my art.

it will be otherwise.

it will not be simple, it will become your will

it, I said.

it’s not big enough to hold us.

It’s today I love you

its dark pages.

its paradise rivers

just a little time left now for quiet joy.

just because you don’t know what work is.

just for you.

Kayong muli—tiyak na hindi na!—magkakangitian.

keeping their knees together.

known, you know, to dress up extravagantly for such grand occasions.

larger than themselves.

laughing at that.

lay lightly down, and slept.

Leaving my shadow still to be with you.

leaving us nothing to overhear.

let heaven rejoice, let the earth be glad.

Like a drawn sword.

like a gate.

like a happened balloon.

like a mermaid of the soil, just to be next to your bones.

like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

Like an animal dragging a great trap.

Like farmers plowing under the ancient sun.

like the earth split open by lightning.

like the Wen River, endlessly flowing.

like this one.

little father I ransom with my life.

loneliness kept.

looking for your name.

Love buries itself in me, up to the hilt.

love you.

Lucky shirt.

“Made it again! Made it again!”



maybe even race.


moan, so grateful to be held this way.

More prolific.


mortals: private accommodations. Magpie beauty.

much to tell.

must now keep looking in.

Muting each drop in her wild-beating heart.

my deep silent prayers.

My heart is like dawn.

my own dog.

My thoughts fly in at your window, a flock of wild birds.

nearly as long as a crow

never to waken in that world again.

no matter how slowly they fell.

no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses and birds.

No one has such small hands, Shahid, not even the rain.

No one knows why.

no sound.

nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

not knowing where I’ve been.

       Not shaking the grass

not the songs of love, but love beneath disguise.

not walking, not eating. Only to cry comes naturally.

not what I knew.

nothing else.

Nothing gold can stay.

nothing to be afraid of.

Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.

nothing, forever?

now I am becoming my own tree

O blessed Solitude.

of a crazy song.

Of a door that closes—quietly, forever.

of a girl, beside the ancient hill?

Of a love or a season?

 Of all the words I never say.

of cooks.

Of fulness than of emptiness.

of gentleness.

of my life.

Of my lover’s robe.

of my ribs, and I close my eyes and chime.

Of that sin

of the growing aloneness when I clicked the latch.

of the land.

of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.

of the street.

of tiny origami ships, just setting out to sea.

of under me you so quite new

of view of the sky.

Often a someone drifts off down their long hair and is lost

“Old fool.”

on a park bench and simply hold your hand?

On the broken sofa in my study.

on the rest of us, forever.

on the sunset’s patchy rust seems like enough.

on which the sun shone brilliantly.

On wine, virtue, poetry, whatever!”

one by one. I am the turnstile.

One cannot begin it too soon.

One day I plan to be riding it.

One fine day.

one heart to every falling thing.

One listens to poetry.

one more cracked rendition of your singular, aspirant song.

or between the teeth, pips, a metal taste.

Or does it explode?

or else we all are.

or gas, air, or light.

or listening anyway.

Or not untrue and not unkind.

or open arms saying, I forgive you, all.

or tell her how badly we missed her.

or the one red leaf the snow releases in March.

or touch themselves, or me.

other line of a poem.

our own wives don’t like us.

our possible life.

out to deep water, to the far and boundless sea.

“Over the hills and far away.”

Part of the difference between floating and going down.

“Pardon the egg salad stains, but I’m in love.”

peacefully, at least until the next truck comes.

peeler’s wife. Smell me.

Petals on a wet, black       bough   .

Places where we will always be together.

Please put your scarf on.

pocket, it is Poems by Pierre Reverdy.

pointed down at all the words in parallel lines.

pointing again and again down, down into the black depths.

prospecting for my life.

public heroes and secrets.

Quit milling around the yard and come inside.

rant, no, the sky, now, that icy whiteness.

red label on a little butterfly.

refreshed but tired by the weekend.


Remain to be learnt.

Remembering the speeches of your hair.

remembers and forgets.

Reprehensibly perfect.

restlessly, while the leaves are blowing.


right here, feeling lucky.

right? You could make this place beautiful.

rise above an ancient graveyard?

Running over the fields.

Sa katahimikang walang bintana, pintuan.

saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry.

saying it, that it won’t.

scattered white bones.

seahorse shit, and the shit of the wasteful gallinule.

See, our lips bend.

seeking your name.

seems to be waiting.

settle for love instead?”

she had written it

She said: give me more space.

shoes that fit my feet.

should have come to an end.

should kill no one

Siren girls sang somewhere. Nice, she said. Nice.

Sit. Feast on your life.

Slated for demolition.

slides over, makes room for its superior.

so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

so comes love

So lazy and hum-strumming.

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

so my soul can sing


Someday your road.

someone they could not save.

someone to know him.

something that identifies him as God.

Sometimes and always, with mixed feelings?

Sometimes I feel like there are birds flying out of me.

Sometimes I want to die because of this.

spin him like a top

stamping in its stall.

Stays me dreaming at my door.

still burning.

stitching a word to a river. Then another.

streetlights deliriously flicker.

strikes and your heart cries out, being carried off.

strong tug of tides.

sunset sky

Suppose the women own fans?

swim? What will I do now, with my hands?

take care of itself

tears. Do you hear what I’m telling you?

Telluric ash and fire-spores boil away.

Than ever to have loved and won.

than lie as you lie.”

Than to places you can reach by going on.

Thank you for whatever’s left.

That even lovers drown.

that feels like burning and flight and running away.

that has no end.

that have only memories to feed them, and only you to keep them clean.

That I shall know soon?

that never occurred between us.

that our shining faces rock with grief.

that she is not there.

that sudden rush of the world.

That they readily meet invasions, when they come.

That was what I wanted: to be naked.

That we will, although time stretches terribly in between…

that week became forever.

that you would save them again.


That’s how the light gets in.

the better part of it, my poetry, is open.

The broken beauty of the sea.

the child cannot swim.

The clocks are sorry, the clocks are very sad.

the door to mine.

The endless repetitions of his own murmurous blood.

The face he did not see to be his own.

the fuel that feeds you.

the happy genius of my household?

the last of the oxygen and the remote.

The man in the moon. The sea rose. The living room.

The music in the piano stool. That vase.

the Nameless and the Name.

the only life you could save.

the pleasure, but how stabbing deep the pain.

The rest is memory.

the rest of your heart.

the rhyme, the period; but in the sending.

the saddest person in the world.

The sea-wash repeats, repeats.

The secret of poetry is cruelty.

the silence from which it came.

the solitude, and the rain, and the roads…

The Stock Market Handbook.

the swish of tomorrow’s donkey-threshed grain.

the unspeakable territories.

The utter factuality of the few true things.

the walking wore them down.

the way the world is not.

the way this poem is filled with trees, and birds.

The worst was this; my love was my decay.

The years: the undergrowth

Their faith will make it easier for them to live and die.

Then decide what to do with your time.

Then I locked up, and rang the janitor’s bell.

then labor heavily so that they may seem light.

then to the Basque country

Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.

Then, trust.

there’s never enough world for you

There’s nothing I couldn’t forgive.

These accents seem their own defense.

Things shouldn’t be so hard.

think / please / please let me remember this //

This field is a bride. How are we to say goodbye?

this life this life this life.

this monstrosity called life.

This morning was a hundred years ago.

this sadness.

This winter is in for a lot.

Though this might take me a little time.

through the underpass.

Thrown between me and the sky.

To an admiring Bog!

to be close, so why should you?

to be.

to believe in some one else.

to cry out against the unretrievableness.

to do with love.

to find out what it really means.

to go back to.

to go on.

to keep things whole.

to let it go.

to let it scream.

to mine, mine, shining with imagined rain.

to reach that world, and breathe, and write these poems.

to remember a path or a river we’ve only visited in our dreams?

to repeat again.

To see if I am what it wants.

to sit out in the sun and listen.

to stand still now?

to the crazy roots, in the drenched earth, laughing and growing.

to the fields where they can only die.

To the merest child.

to them.

to those who have fashioned it.

to which there is no reply?

to you.

tock and such deep wagons on so many panged wheels.


 torment, its astonishment, its endlessness.

too late.

too many to count, but could only say it in counting.

Top of another

Touch me and you’ll burn.

toward the twilight erasing statues.

traced paths through the sky.

train in a hurry.

twice as many stars as usual.

under any kind of light.


     until I completely vanish.

until only the mountain remains.

untouched and still possible

upside down to do it.

very gently it began to rain.

very gently it began to rain.

wait on the wind, catch a scent of salt, call it our life.

walks the floor.

wants a home]

Was he a brave man or a hypocrite?

was, too.

watching to see how it’s done.


we are learning to make fire

we both know the winter has only begun.

We drum stay.

We even flew a little.

we have become beautiful without even knowing it.

We may be right.

We shall find out.

We start to row, and will for as long as this lasts.

we were alone and alive.

we were never meant to survive

We will give it to each other.

we’ve seen nothing.

“What fools we were, not to have seen.”

What has no shadow has no strength to live.

what I lost to find this.

What you did is all it ever means.

what you have to say.

what you know because what else is there?

whatever he says, I’ll do.

when I kneel to wash my floors again?

when they untie them in the evening.

when you fall asleep.

when you mistook being here for being there.

when you were drunk.

 where I was born.

where it must have touched your cheek

where it takes me, how it ends.

where love ends—and love asks nothing.

Where will we go when they send us away from here?

Where you are. You must let it find you.

Whether as happiness or pain.

whether they are aware of it or not.

which carried the feathered grass a long way down the upbreathing air.

which has been our life.

Which in the Clover dwell.

which is of course to never have been born.

which stirs in dust behind stone horizons.

While the moon comes out of the sea.

Who finds you here and lies down by your side.

Who would I show it to

Why am I so? Why am I thus?

will be waiting when you return.

will come from the dead with that shirt on.

will give us back to ourselves.

Will it get any worse?

Will pierce your shit-filled heart.

Will you always stand there shivering?

Wind rising. Whatever might rise.

Wish I were here.

with a decent happiness.

with a human trembling.

with being!

with footprints so deep, like a track meet in wet cement.

with its faded no vacancy sign.

With its hand upon the sill.

with my teeth. No. Not this pig.

with the pale gray ghost of my hand.

with the seeds of their children.

with the silence that surrounds Beethoven’s head.

with the smallest movements of your mouth?

with wheeling birds.

With white faces like town children.

without losing the world, I’ll have to praise it.

without love.’


Work is work.


would understand.

wouldn’t want to be in a world where you don’t exist.

Write to me.

X=your zenith.

years. I meant all of them with you.

Yes Yes Yes

Yes, given half a chance. Yes.

Yet the landscape, these billboards, age as rapidly as before.

You are light and morning.

(you are Mine said she)

you are smiling, you are emptying the world so we can be alone.

You ask it ten thousand times.

You do not smoke. You have to try.

You don’t ever let go of the thread.

you don’t refuse to breathe do you

you have ever dared to pray.

You have nothing to be sad about.

You have only these minutes and years.

You held my earth, you held my sky.

you met and decided to marry in four days.

You might as well live.

you say. This time you are speaking to me.

you think there is

you think.”

You too dreaming of the same.

You try & rise but you cannot.

You wouldn’t have


You’ll never know.

Your immortal life will say this, as it is leaving.

Your infidelities will have changed you.

Your own hands are lying.

your word for love.

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“Who would I show it to” — W.S. Merwin

“as if harrow were what / the world is made of” — Maggie Smith

“Do not name your children. Let them live / nameless, seal their eyelids / and sell their voices to the nightingale.” — Lena Khalaf Tuffaha