Sunday, October 16, 2011

It Was Like You Were The Muse

It is too late Denise to find a voice that honors you?

There was that beach on which we whispered kissing because sound travels.

You inhabited so many poems it was like you were the muse itself, not the form it briefly borrowed.

Do you remember being locked inside an empty vodka bottle, wind howling off Lake Champlain, arguing was it my fault or yours it didn't work?

What I wouldn't do again would fill a book, huh?

Drunk on the cheap wine of poetry readings, throwing snowballs with friends we didn't really like, falling asleep in wet clothes . . .

I remember your ragged brown sweater in candlelight, writing poems while you read Virginia Woolf and realizing for the first time that the space between sentences or paragraphs was actually part of the music.

The rose I was too scared to give you froze by the gear shift.

Still, for all of that, for ten of fifteen years, you were the standard that all my loves were forced to crawl before.

We are always in motion but what an anchor the past can temporarily make.

The last movie we ever saw together was either Cocktail or Impromptu, and the latter is still one of my favorite love stories (beautiful Chopin!).

When you became a vegetarian I made up a song while we ate fresh canteloupe with cream.

"I'm a tangerine sitting in your kitchen/I'm a tangerine and I'm going to kill you."

Without you, the red bird would have been impossible.

Without you, I would not have learned that twenty sentences are not enough to hold the sky.

It was watching you walk away from me in snowy English fields that I learned love has nothing to do with bodies.

You can't invent what was always there.

For me you will always be happiest framed by the door of a used bookstore in Albany.

I used to wonder what if you came back?

A refugee now - homeless now - I thank you for the painful gift of an always unknowable future.

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