Self-Portrait as Still Life

by Donald Justice

The newspaper on the table,
Confessing its lies.
The melon beside it,
Plump, unspoiled,

Trying to forget
That it was ever wrapped
In anything so
Scandalous, so banal.

Already out, the knife,
Confident lover.
It smiles.  It knows
How attractive it is

To sunlight.  On the wall,
A guitar, in shadow,
Remembering hands . . .
I don’t come into the picture.

Poets, O fellow exiles,
It’s your scene now, and welcome.
You take up the guitar.
You cut up the melon.

But when are you going to
Roll up the newspaper, swat
The flies, take out all the garbage?
Mañana?  Always mañana.

-from Collected Poems