It has been several months since you left (or I did)
and I have been surprised to discover that I
have written almost no poetry in those
several months; I have not turned for comfort
to the loose arrangements of words falling
across a bright screen, in the heavy coldness
of July August September, in the wet rain of
October November, in the bitter lightning pain
of too-close December. Instead the tight structure
of prose, the bare concealment of fictional
recountings, the tellings and retellings of the way
it should have been, the way it never was.
It frightens me, this lack of poetry, that had
always welled up before, in each earlier departure,
had overflowed and spilled across the dusty sheets
that ached with your absence and the memories.
Does this dryness mean that now is truly not
the same as then, that never does mean never
after all, that the quick burst of hope that still
explodes every other minute hour day week…
is just a fading memory, a ghost of habits long since
past their usefulness, their expiration dates?
What does it mean,
that I am writing poetry
to you again?
January 20, 2002