HOW IS THIS PRISON

How is this prison, if I’m imprisoned with you?

There are no fresh breezes here, no new

Sights to see, no intelligent, winding ways,

No green paths for any of these days.

But to me, confinement is true

When confinement is me

In confinement with you.

When it’s me who discovers

You—as all other lovers,

With places to go,

Fade—and by this prison I slow;

I look: the only fact

Is this prison, and by this prison I know

Facts, prisons, prisoners. To act

Like there is more would be the source of all my woe.

I leave hope, and all the cunning

Optimism I know—

Look, the rats are running—I go

Slowly into the prison where you

Are my face, and you are everything I do.

You have put yourself there.

Why do I need fresh air

When your breath holds my care—

When your arms, which have waited for me,

Hold me dearly against your poetry,

And your fate which drew me in

Is the only lesson with which I begin?

It is this poem—announcing prison—

Which is the limit, not of this prison,

But of this world—one I believed

Was real, and one I grieved.

A world I believed was everything. But no;

Your way; you; prison, and you—

All my prison, all I know,

Imprisoned in, imprisoned with you;

You looking in my eye, looking in yours,

You allowing me, now, to stay,

As I can, and will,

All prisoners, all poets, lying this still.

 

 

1 Comment

  1. blindzanygirl said,

    December 28, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    WOW! What an incredible poem!


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