“Perhaps the hardest thing about losing a lover is
to watch the year repeat its days.
It is as if I could dip my hand down
into time and scoop up
blue and green lozenges of April heat
a year ago in another country.
I can feel that other day running underneath this one
like an old videotape—here we go fast around the last corner
up the hill to his house, shadows
of limes and roses blowing in the car window
and music spraying from the radio and him
singing and touching my left hand to his lips.”
“Days you are sick, we get dressed slow,
find our hats and ride the train.
We pass a junkyard and the bay,
then a dark tunnel, then a dark tunnel. You lose your hat. I find it. The train
sighs open at Burlingame,
past dark tons of scrap and water.
I carry you down the black steps. Burlingame is the size of joy:
a race past bakeries, gold rings
in open black cases. I don’t care
who sees my crooked smile or what erases it, past the bakery,
when you tire. We ride the blades again
beside the crooked bay. You smile.
I hold you like a hole holds light. We wear our hats and ride the knives.
They cannot fix you. They try and try.
Tunnel! Into the dark open we go.
Days you are sick, we get dressed slow.”
— House On Fire , Maria Hummel
“I see that this isn’t so, that
Memory decays like the rest, is unstable in its essence,
Flits, occludes, is variable, sidesteps, bleeds away, eludes
All recovery; worse, is not what it seemed once, alters
Unfairly, is not the intact garden we remember, but
Instead, speeds away from us backwards terrifically
Until when we pause to touch that sun-remembered
Wall, the stones are friable, crack and sift down,
And we could cry at the fierceness of that velocity
If our astonished eyes had time.”
— Eric Ormsby
“Strange / to wish wishes no longer. / Strange / to see things / that seemed to / belong together / floating in every / direction.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke, from ‘Duino Elegies, ‘Elegy One’. Translated by David Young
“to the hands come
many things. in time of trouble
a wild exultation”
— Robert Creeley
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees Is my destroyer. And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.