Maybe I don’t want uncomplicated happiness.
In the morning one of us turns
to dress away from the other
although little has changed.
In a better world memory would
always lead back to affection.
Who is that person on the edge
of the bed, looking back?
Nothing is uncomplicated, traveler.
Maybe I wanted you to stay
for the wrong reasons.
Maybe it’s the wrong reasons I love.
I too am somewhere over an ocean—
writing you this as fast as I can.
of sun, the
roses. I want
to eat that
Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution’s power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.
You do not always know what I am feeling.
Last night in the warm spring air while I was
blazing my tirade against someone who doesn’t
me, it was love for you that set me
and isn’t it odd? for in rooms full of
strangers my most tender feelings
bear the fruit of screaming. Put out your hand,
an ashtray, suddenly, there? beside
the bed? And someone you love enters the room
and says wouldn’t
you like the eggs a little
And when they arrive they are
just plain scrambled eggs and the warm weather
Look at John, out in the world,
running even on a miserable day
like today. Your
staying dry is like the cat’s pathetic
preference for hunting dead birds: completely
consistent with your tame spiritual themes,
autumn, loss, darkness, etc.
We can all write about suffering
with our eyes closed. You should show people
more of yourself; show them your clandestine
passion for red meat.
I am afraid of isolation,
and of the woman who says forever,
moving her tongue along my skin.
If I believe her, I will suffer.
If I don’t believe her, I will suffer.
Who has never wanted to be unneeding?