You think you’ve had them.
You know that there were times
you were excruciatingly obsessed –
that what determined your desire to live
was nothing more or less than the degree
to which he could be beckoned into loving you –
by which you never knew exactly what you meant.
Loving was a sort of shoving into or away from
something else. There weren’t words for it,
or couldn’t be until you could permit
existence to exist: until you could
be interested in what was really
going on. But that would take
so many decades to discover.
The dawn was coming, though. Today
you knew that it had come. You saw
the one you had resisted seeing: the one
whose being tortured you for so long with
its worn-out iconography that you no longer
had a clue what really “turned you on.”
You saw him and it wasn’t he, the last one
you had wanted. Now he was the first one
whom you didn’t want at all. People weren’t
things to want. Love was not a thing to want.
The dawn’s become a morning now.
Soon you’ll see your life’s first
afternoon. In four years you’ll
be seventy. It will be still be light.
Then love may come. Love may be the night.