If we were in bed, I’d want to make love. If we were talking, I’d want her undivided attention. Am I ever satisfied? What if she were ill? I’d be thankful she was breathing. I’d be thankful for her life.

Dreamt her plane crashed, that I slept with our marriage certificate beside me.

Krishnamurti: “There is no escape from loneliness. It is a fact. And escape from facts breeds confusion and sorrow.”

Smoothing back these thoughts as if they were strands of hair. Thoughts of her, of us, tangled together. Feeling her absence tonight, do I call it remembering or loneliness?

My pen moves across the page. My life moves across something nameless.

To be in not of the marriage, in not of the body, in not of these words.

Oh lonely, wrestle me down and show me who’s master. Leave a mark on my flesh so I’ll know you were here.

Cheever: “Such merit as my work possesses is rooted in the fact that I have been unsuccessful in my search for love.”

First thought on awakening: from dream to dream.

A tornado tears through the neighborhood, toppling tall pine trees, barely missing our house. Roofs are smashed, the power is out for hours. Thankful we were spared, we’re tempted to compare ourselves to those less fortunate. Is that gratitude?

Face pressed to the window of the world, looking for the one who stands here, looking.

I don’t understand my wife. How can I understand a planet, consuming itself in its wild love for me? Or why forty thousand children died today from hunger?

Down here, in the gathering dust, meat calling to meat, I forget You. In tears I might find You, but I forget to cry.

You’re as real as this desk, this chair. God’s presence: no joke. But I live the lie that You’re a fiction, less real than the hand that holds this pen. So loneliness becomes my God: reliable, familiar.

Stephen Levine: “Meditation is just one insult after another.”

When the world is Your heart, what are the world’s tears to You? When I’m on my knees, does my prayer ring more true?

I love my old brown overcoat, slung carelessly over the back of the chair. Can I love who I am at the end of the day?

To ask for guidance, instead of punishing myself for having lost the way.

First kisses, innumerable dawns — as distant now as a foreign country. Wasn’t I there? Didn’t I speak the language, taste the salty air?

To abandon You because I feel abandoned is to forget why I’m here.

Letting the book fall from my hand. Thinking, sleepily, of all the books I’ve read, their fluttering pages, their life as trees. I could wander through them, sit in their shade, dream.

Still my heart flies to her, across the ruin of the day.