“Twenty-five. Celibate.”

Reposted (from 1984), on the NYRB page, this fine poem by James Merrill. Enjoy.

James Merrill: Casual Wear
Your average tourist: Fifty. 2.3
Times married. Dressed, this year, in Ferdi Plinthbower
Originals. Odds 1 to 910
Against her strolling past the Embassy

Today at noon. Your average terrorist:
Twenty-five. Celibate. No use for trends,
At least in clothing. Mark, though, where it ends.
People have come forth made of colored mist

Unsmiling on one hundred million screens
To tell of his prompt phone call to the station,
“Claiming responsibility”—devastation
Signed with a flourish, like the dead wife’s jeans

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