To Marie Howe:
I am writing this now, at the end of the night, with the cat asleep over the comforter folded off to the side of the bed, the dog sprawled on the hardwood floor absorbing the cool, and Wojtek passed out over his Harry Potter tome, dreaming of the strategic and the tactical in long calibration meetingsâ€¦ I am writing now, just as my wet face is drying from reading your book again. It haunts me… I am writing now before the insanity that possesses me when I read it dissipates, as it is doing already.
I got up, after Iâ€™d shut down the computer, and locked the door, and turned the right lights on and the others off, I got up and pulled it out again, your book, from the low black shelf in the study, back to the stack by my bedside. I start from the end, from â€œWhat the Living Doâ€, read about the clogged sink, and the dangerous smelling Drano, and the coffee spilling on your sleeve, and your chapped face reflected in the glassâ€¦ And despite that nagging comment that I read in an interview with you once, about how irritated youÂ are by readers who assume that your poems are autobiographical, and how the I in them is not youâ€”despite that I ignore you and chose to cry. Not for you, but for the release. â€œThat yearningâ€â€¦
And then I read backwards. I read â€œThe Visitâ€, and â€œYesterdayâ€, and â€œThe Memorialâ€. And I sob at the Memorial, at when you throw the ashes, and someÂ are blown back at you, and how you didnâ€™t think it was him, his bones and his skin and his cockâ€¦ I stop after that. I want to read back to â€œSeparationâ€ and â€œThe Gateâ€, but I must stop, write this, before itâ€™s goneâ€¦ I must stop now, because itâ€™s gone.
In a Dark Time â€¦ The Eye Begins to See