Light Sleeper

Charles Simic

You were a witness
To so many crimes
In your lifetime, my friend,
No wonder most nights
You can be found
Testifying in a trial
In some country
Whose language
You don’t understand.The proceedings
Interminably slow
With more corpses
Being dragged in
Their ghastly wounds
As you recall them
In your own eyes
And news photographs.You’ll be asked
To return tomorrow
So once more
You’ll crawl out of bed
And grope your way
Toward the silent
Crowded courtroom
They’ve set up
Just down the hall.

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Charles Simic’s most recent book of poems is Scribbled in the Dark.

The Southern Review

Autumn 2018

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Louisiana State University

Coeditor and Poetry Editor: Jessica Faust
Coeditor and Prose Editor: Emily Nemens

The Southern Review is one of the nation’s premiere literary journals. Hailed by Time as “superior to any other journal in the English language,” we have made literary history since our founding in 1935. We publish a diverse array of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by the country’s—and the world’s—most respected contemporary writers.

The Southern Review … represents everything that is good in the world of literary publication. Their dedication to aesthetic quality has been the gold standard in literary publication for over seventy-five years.”
—James Lee Burke

“A leading literary quarterly.”
New York Times

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