A Photograph Of Kafka

I have a photograph of Kafka
on the wall before me as I write.
His eyes hurt with Felice, his eyes
burn, not the business man
but one selected for pain.

And what pleasures you give
from your suffering, the necessity
of words, the rueful temper of your Father
that paralysed frictions, leading to sadness
that obtruded, that ignited.
But he did not know.

Now it gives me relief to see
you each morning as I sit
to write words that come slowly,
that sometimes do not come at all
following a midnight not slept
as you knew, the daring of the night
too great.

And I shall watch you each day,
watch the fall of your vision
lay in my mind as I sit to write
as you did then until illness
got you and strained,
the sore eyes of Felice weeping,
missing your oblivions.

John Cornwall

If you've any comments on this poem, John Cornwall would be pleased to hear from you.

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