"Will This Loneliness Last Forever"
Will this loneliness last forever,
Eyes gazing out at darkness, hands
Hanging helplessly open, caressing
Only cold wind. — You, lovers, who turn
To each other as evening falls and embrace:
Does your long kiss impress its shape
Into time? Each gentle motion falters.
If only what one clings to would
Continue breathing, not this still agonizing
Silence: pulse beat slackens and stops:
O, would that continue, continue into time,
We didn't embrace each other tightly enough,
Let each other slip away, you into another's arms
And I into this graveyard...
Sounds of night, an escaped cricket
Calling for someplace to rest, this space heater
Whirring, someone far off laughing..
Nights ago would I have been that, disturbing
This darkness's rest with a caress,
Gestures of affection: hands passing on
Their emptiness, so at once they'd be both fulfilled
And hurtful. Hadn't I hurt you more
Than any other, bequeathing you an eternity:
The worst gift anyone could give,
An eternity of longing, of staring at star-filled
Skies at midnight, always seeing only
Your own sad eyes looking back at you out
Of puddles on leaf-covered sidewalks,
Every footstep at once mine and a stranger's —
A love existent more in what reminded
Than what remained.
At the end of waiting:
Those years of embraces become simply
For you years of emptiness: you'd been transformed
By my disembodied vacuum:
When at night we said goodbye to each other,
You'd stand in a streetlight's pool of light,
You'd always look back at me as you walked
Away. — O, how can this continue,
This grotesque existence, when one's entire past
Has been disavowed, destroyed in a single act
Of disdain and denial? Of weakness....
Your long dark hair dissipates into the night.
How can you glance back now? We've been blinded.
Lips that kissed you now speechless and afraid —
Hands that held you now calloused and careless...