Philip Larkin

Whatever Happened?

At once whatever happened starts receding. Panting, and back on board, we line the rail With trousers ripped, light wallets, and lips bleeding. Yes, gone, thank God! Remembering each detail We toss for half the night, but find next day All's kodak-distant. Easily, then (though pale), 'Perspective brings significance,' we say, Unhooding our photometers, and, snap! What can't be printed can be thrown away. Later, it's just a latitude: the map Points out how unavoidable it was: 'Such coastal bedding always means mishap.' Curses? The dark? Struggling? Where's the source Of these yarns now (except in nightmares, of course)?

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