WHEN A NEW POEM IS ALL I HAVE THAT’S NEW

When a new poem is all I have that’s new,

Depressed because the sun is setting, and the sun has set on you,

Autumn in the air, and a lone bird high above, crying,

Images fade, sky and sea darkening, the cool, late summer day dying,

I gather up in a shrinking frame of concentrated light

A small forest of sounds, and write.

All wisdom is a dream.

So Petrarch taught me, and yet, I persist with my theme,

That every part was, and will be, one,

And shadows are but shadows, and will not be shadows in the sun.

What I was thinking, while day fled,  having my cigarette by the sea,

Was you, my love, and how it was you fell away from me.

You let me love one part of you, and what you gave, I loved with all my heart,

A fading melody—there was no harmony; generously you gave a single part,

Hiding other aspects of your life; I was puzzled; I begged to see

Childhood photos; I asked what you did when you were gone from me.

You refused; I began to feel other parts of you were dead, and perhaps they were:

Life-in-death is the dire realm where fairy tales occur;

Old Persia and Germany, dark avenues of refuge by the sea,

Waiting in the morning for a stranger to go, soiled femininity,

Shortened childhood fleeing crucified manhood, a crushed regime,

The mother mind missing in a horrifying dream.

Tragedy had marked your life, and none of your missing parts

Was I able to gather together, even in my love; I lacked the magic glue

To repair your sorrow; my questions pained or insulted you;

I loved a beautiful corpse, alive in body, but true love desires all;

When your reasons died in mine—and often, you refused my call—

Our love became a twilight wood, and though we loved happily and often,

Your absences were frequent and strange—were you lying in a coffin?

Why did you smile silently sometimes when you should have said

What came about? My inquiries were innocent. You didn’t tell me what you did.

Our love was the love of my life, but I was unhappy; yours was not the love for me.

I have never stopped loving your melancholy melody,

And when I, watching the darkness come, run to the only thing that’s left to me,

My readers—ghosts too!—will hear your strange song.

Or is it mine? Is this landscape me? And is this wrong?

Morning. Nothing stirs. The sun will be shining all day.

I hear a strange, unhappy, melody playing far away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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