Posted on January 1st, 2017
“…and now your insides are raising
an ineffable racket…”
–Carlos Drummond de Andrade (Elizabeth Bishop trans.)
I finally turned to you and said,
I’m scared of what is happening to my body.
Oh, person! The week before,
I’d held you inside that fear.
It was a kind of heat, a realness. The
wish to transmit
kindness without pain is a form
We had just started to be good
at teaching each other
words for things:
persimmon, catkin, mosaicism, friend.
I’d already decided
I didn’t want you living in me like that:
all that longing, unthrottled cry
in the dark. But then, walking back
in the pre-dusk,
I watched you tremble once with a smallness,
and so learned the fragile way
your body answered the cold.
and I wanted—
so badly to reach inside myself and hand you all this beauty
that I see.
* * *
It was one of the best days of my life.
All around us, flowers, actual flowers,
were blooming, and the smell of the fallen pears made me so hungry,
and neither of us was dead,