To put a name on love is to define
a prism by its lack of clarity,
its mutability. There is a risk
of unfair assessment. Back then we talked
about the truth in memory. I said
that it is inherently subjective.
You craved certainty: some hard central core
to draw out and carbon date. Both of us
speaking empirically, and both wrong.
We didn’t believe it, any
of it. Davening toward what?
Once, in class, a boy vaulted
out of the supply cupboard—
punishing our teacher,
the earnest stench of her faith.
The disrupted lesson: Samson,
Delilah, something about
How must we trust
that which we can only sense?
Winnow through disbelief; whittle
trees of life?
than my child self could imagine,
I understand turning toward.
Only in hindsight does life
I behave toward myth
as I do unto all things—
big, small, quiet, violent—
desirous, or slippery.
Confessions are the offal
eviscerated from dreams.
Please. Give me the raw image.
Let it be
and nothing universal.
I’m in the mirror. I’m spelling my name out loud to the telephone.
So much you never explained; I had to figure it out on my own.
A pyrrhic victory when I realised I am, in fact, so young.
You were right about that. Still, I had to understand it on my own.
You were full of semiologies. Probably still are. But this poem
is about me, my capacious longing. How I plumb it on my own.
From the sophistry of your doubt, I raise myself into myth-making,
dragging the lacuna of language with me. Shoulder it on my own.
This lacuna, it outshines me. Every day, I am rendered older.
I swim in the kelp forest. I sleep sometimes, not always on my own.
My reflection, spelt with three E’s. Littoral, literal self. You’d hate
to know: even now, I would submit to you, no longer be my own.