Monday, July 17, 2017

Dear woman, we both have had our fill of trials.
The Odyssey, 23.394 (trans. Robert Fagles)



I only thought it, but you turned to me 
as if I’d said aloud Come here 
where I can hurt you
and this sounded good enough to you. 
Not for kindness or strength, 
or wisdom or grace,
or beauty or duty or truth, 
my parents named me Grecianly 
for joy. And when you say
my name I feel taller 
the way I do in the flat-bed middle of the country, 
terrified but here.
We are all already here: 
the bats in their gloaming, groping flight 
not blind but finding
with sound the shape of what’s before them 
which is why I’m talking to you now 
and I know
there are always bats in my poems for you 
and I’m sorry 
but when you put your mouth
because I asked you 
in the deepest hollow of my collarbone 
like I could hold water
there I think maybe I can if I try 
I feel that way 
about most things.
I don’t know what it is 
I’m not telling you 
but I swear I’m trying now.
My plow and stars, 
my ambulance in traffic, 
my anapest always, 
my lightfast ink,
pain is property. 
Remember that. 
Come here.
Monday, July 17, 2017