JULY 9, 2004 (FRIDAY)
I am procrastinating. Again.
I want to write a poem about you. About how hands intertwine. About Ophelia, and how her lily-white palms float above the water, and her peaceful face before she drowned. About riding at the back of a motorcycle at 10 in the evening with the wind in your hair and your fingers painfully vibrating with the engine. About cycles and love and loss and how you are always in my dreams.
I am thinking now of how it is to run away, to clamber up on a plane bound for nowhere and everywhere at the same time. I will have only a backpack of clothes and memories, a notebook and a pen and a book of poems. How lovely it would be to view the moon at the same level, with silver clouds to blur the view. Have you ever felt so clean, so pure? I want to forget. I want to remember. I want to stay and leave and need you and say that I don't love you anymore.
I want to escape your sun's gravitational pull, your star blurry through sleep-tinted eyes. I want to feel your hand in mine, the only real thing that I have in this world. I want to sleep beside you again. I want to be safe, for once in the sad sorry life that I've had, I want to feel safe.
I am sitting here with orange lamplight in my face and a blank sheet of paper in front of me. I have to submit an article in a few hours. I have to study for French. I have tarot readings and meetings with friends and school and work and thesis and GRAIL and somehow I want to think that life is complete and I am content, and honestly I know that we are lucky in this regard because you are still in my life and I am keeping true to my promise to you. But I am wondering when I will get tired of this contentment.
I feel as though I am standing at a bus station, waiting for the next ride to come. It is already past midnight, and the plastic seats are uncomfortable. There is a Burger Machine stall near the entrance, and I know that I have to eat something before I leave. There is that sense of aloneness, of being your own compass and your own North Star. I do not see any other passengers. I am waiting for the bus without a destination.
Pathetic, that's what I am, waiting for breadcrumbs of your affection. Maybe I ought to stop putting in effort - I am now no different than those other faces and names that you meet during your wanderings. Why do I still hope? Why why why? Pathetic, that's what I am.
The Almanac of Last Things
By Linda Pastan
From the almanac of last things
I choose the spider lily
for the grace of its brief
blossom, though I myself
but I choose The Song of Songs
because the flesh
of those pomegranates
all the frost of dogma.
I choose January with its chill
lessons of patience and despair--and
August, too sun-struck for lessons.
I choose a thimbleful of red wine
to make my heart race,
then another to help me
sleep. From the almanac
of last things I choose you,
as I have done before.
And I choose evening
because the light clinging
to the window
is at its most reflective
just as it is ready
to go out.
From Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968-1998