Adrienne Rich

  1. Breakpoint

The music of words taken for facts

The steps that wouldn’t hold us both splintering in air

The self reduced in an urn like ashes

To have loved you better than you loved yourself — whoever you were, to have loved you —

And still to love but simply as one of those faces on the street

  1. Relevance

That erudition how to confront it

The critics wrote answers but the questions were ours

A breast, a shoulder chilled at waking

The cup of yoghurt eaten at noon and no explanations

The books we borrowed trying to read each other’s minds

Paperbacks piling on both sides of the fireplace and piled beside the bed

What difference would it make that those books came out of unintelligible pain as the daylight out of the hours

when that light turned atop the insurance tower all night like the moon

  1. Memory

Plugged-in to her body he came the whole way

but it makes no difference

If not this then what would fuse a connection

(All that burning intelligence about love) what can it matter

Falling in love on words and ending in silence with its double-meanings

Always falling and ending because this world gives no room to be what we dreamt of being

Are we, as he said of the generation that forgets the lightening-flash, the air-raid

and each other

  1. Time and Place

Liquid mist burning off along the highway

Slap of water Light on shack boards

Hauling of garbage early in the wet street Always the same, wherever waking the old positions assumed by the mind

and the new day forms like a china cup

hard, cream-colored, unbreakable even in our travels

  1. Revelation

This morning: read Simone Weil on the loss of grace drank a glass of water

remembered the dream that woke me:

someone, some more than one battering into my room intent to kill me

I crying your name its two syllables ringing through sleep

knowing it vain knowing you slept unhearing

crying your name like a spell like signs executed

by the superstitious

who are the faithful of this world