… Our youth is dead.
From the minute we discover it with eyes closed
Advancing into mountain light.
Ouch… You will never have that young boy
That boy with the monocle
Could have been your father
He is passing by. No, that other one,
Upstairs. He is the one who wanted to see you.
He is dead. Green and yellow handkerchiefs cover him.
Perhaps he will never rot, I see
That my clothes are dry. I will go.
The naked girl crosses the street.
Blue hampers… Explosions,
Ice… The ridiculous
Vases of porphyry. All that our youth
Can’t use, that it was created for.
It’s true we have not avoided our destiny
By weeding out the old people.
Our faces have filled with smoke. We escape
Down the cloud ladder, but the problem has not been solved.
” Our Youth” from John Ashbery: Collected Poems, 1956-1987 (Library of America, No. 187)