Wants

by Philip Larkin

LarkinBeyond all this, the wish to be alone 
However the sky grows dark with invitation cards 
However we follow the printed directions of sex 
However the family is photographed under the flagstaff 
Beyond all this, the wish to be alone.

Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs:
Despite the artful tensions of the calendar,
The life insurance, the tabled fertility rites
The costly aversion of the eyes from death—
Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs.

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