we are poems, drafts, revised by a kiss, hurt by nouns

It's the last hour. So much second guessing.
Which noun? Which verb? What word might persuade
at the door. Maybe another man with thicker hair, a body
he has no quarrel with, is better for you than the poem
I'm always erasing, rewriting, replacing this phrase
for that one, adjusting my collar. I buy lilies for you,
write a note, rewrite it three times. Everything's flawed.
Even the long-necked stems in white porcelain.
You've seen me sit at a table, nudge my chair closer,
lean back, negotiating time, distance. I prefer the sun
at another angle, the bedroom repainted, the garden weeded.
No. This is what I mean: we are poems, drafts, revised
by a kiss, hurt by nouns, defeated by a little birth
or death we never saw coming. We are a stream.
No single word ever the same, altered by currents, eddies,
a syntax of mud and straw. The water's end begins
the next poem, always unfinished, doubling back
to a lyrical pebble, splash of dissonance. Like sentences,
we once lay alongside each other and created the shore.
The wind rode across our bodies. Now, our hearts bend,
speechless, cold this evening, carrying stars, moonlight,
farther down river, farther down. To where?

[Richard Solly {1947-2015}, 'Revisions', from From Where the Rivers Come]

No comments:

Post a Comment