Friday, April 11, 2014

Departure - Joe Bolton

Left utterly alone, there is nothing
The heart can invent to numb itself.
All around you on the hardwood floor,
Your old life darkened in cardboard boxes …

If love is an awkward, scriptless scene
To be played out between two people,
I cannot write it: I am a pattern
Of breath and sleep that city will outlive.

And if poetry is a bond between
Two hearts, it is a bond too frail:
That night words failed, I too, was lost—
To whiskey, memory, a photograph …

And those cities, so far removed
In distance and time—can our small stars
Survive those bright lights? Our language
Be heard above the din of the million?

Tonight, a hundred miles away,
Our city, made of circles and squares,
Must be much the same as it was:
The bars, the buildings, the streets empty of lovers.

It is a city we can never
Return to—a dream, a green light,
An unfound door closed upon the past.
Our words echo through it and fade.

- Joe Bolton, from “Departure,” in The Last Nostalgia: Poems

No comments:

eXTReMe Tracker