In a college dorm, in a prison, in a marriage
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I just wanted to write and say,
in case you are hit tomorrow by a truck
or are swept from the beach by a freak wave;
or in case your ex-wife decides
to take her own life
right after taking yours;
or in case you go to the doctor,
who finds a lump in your neck,
and you are carried swiftly out onto the terrible waters
of clinics and infusions
and I never see you again —
I just wanted to say,
Bon voyage, my friend, my dear and former friend.
I just wanted to confess
how much you meant to me back then,
before I learned to hold my love in check
thanks to my tutorial with you.
Thank God I got those holes sealed shut
through which every passerby
could see my neediness,
and thank God I banished you
into that frozen part of me
where nothing moves or breathes.
And yet it’s funny, isn’t it?
Our weakness can never be eliminated;
neediness is part of what we are.
Living is a kind of wound;
a wound is a kind of opening;
and even love that disappeared
mysteriously comes back
like water bubbling up from underground,
cleansed from its long journey in the dark.
Right in the open, there it is,
waiting for someone to arrive
and kneel and drink from it.