The woman I loved
Chances to have drifted nearby
From across country;
Alights on a section of the city
Typically distant to me
But I happen to be there in evening
And see her photo on my phone,
A few blocks away in person
But still (safely) states away in heart.
I still proudly disbelieve in fate
But feel the irony that twists my heart
With thoughts of how we’re linked
And in the future, published,
I envision a woman reading these words –
Not her, someone else
Who I imagine myself feigning to love,
Imagine her reading and feeling sorrow
Because she never loved me in return.
If all your structures break beneath you
Do you let them fall
For the sake of truth
Or do you still believe them all?
Do you rise from the rubble and rebuild
Frame by frame
For the sake of truth
Or do you lay down at night the same?
And who can judge, if you choose to build or rest?
On which side of your thinking
Does reality really lie?
In that night, does your conscious testify or lie?
On Evening Avenue, the streetlights are always half lit
A sunset always permeates the space between
The circlet of a girl’s silhouetted chin
And the primordial mess of her hair
And it usually reflects back to you at a sidelong glance
From the mother walking towards you
Or a refracted flash from a driver’s ed Taurus
Might momentarily blind you
As you walk the length of the evening from it’s birth
To the night at it’s end.
As you walk down an after-dinner way
Ask yourself again what made you come this way
Or why you unexplainably sat next to someone on the train
And heard him write the novel of his life
Though narrated, unreliably, in fits and starts
Ask why you sat that way, or came this way
Or what made you leave early, or come late.
After all, at the hour just before night
Any path you take can lead you to or from the leaving sun
And you’ve not forgotten why you didn’t know
How your left or your right might lead you
To a half-light momentary suburb-like glow –
Come here again tomorrow night
And every closing storefront,
Every ten-minute-late evening dinner date
Will change, and no colors will look the same.
No, you’ve not forgotten
And the reason why you wouldn’t know
Might be a girl in a distant low-rent salon
Or a high-rise forty-second floor flat
Filled with new uncertain friends
Grouped around an ancient text
Wringing out their hands and hearts
Ringing out the feedback from the line array
That broadcasts the bloated doubts
That brought them there –
Yes, the answer might be here
In amongst the shelves of these closed books
Waiting to be read
By a man like the man on the train
Who at least could speak his mind
Like reverberating sunday evening church refrains.
Yes, an evening road like this might lead to many places
But when you find yourself
Remaining, listless, by some bleak Victorian porch
Imagining all the past embraces
And faces filled with evening sundown grace
That must have lingered in that place
Recall slowly to yourself
The other evening faces passing
Crossing differently at different ways
And let your eyes become the lanterns of the porch
That led you, years ago, to a home where wringing hands
And ringing bells
Wrought the iron in your heart
That keeps you walking down the evening way.
You dream of a world
Of wedding gifts for widowers
Where the solitary tarriers
And the backyard universe
Carriers, fighting cosmic,
Can blood the status qualm,
Seismic, utilitieless –
But the earth, the form
Moves not outside, but instead
All your dreaming forms.