Keeping It Simple
If I love you, what business is that
of yours? —Goethe
Remember our first glance? The way
we each turned away, resumed interest
in books we weren't reading;
how we each read the same lines several times,
trying to find something more.
Near enough, I could see the chapter you read—
Osmosis; and I wanted you to see that Wallace Stevens
and "Re-Statement of Romance" weren't enough.
I know now that night has its own way of speaking,
as you and I had, knowing nothing of words
other than as a way through the silence
which dark embraces.
Now, tonight, I turn through O in my dictionary.
Another thing you never knew,
my belief that finding the meaning of a word
somehow lends it permanence.
Here, OSMOSIS, noun.
I think of words I refused to look up,
how a word or words, or the lack of them
are barriers; of the way we stopped short
of pulling each other across,
our words like membranes, beyond which
one of us should have passed.
Maybe you said them in a whisper as I slept,
lying in silence, curled beside you,
your arm curved around my breast,
or in the call of passion, just low enough
that I couldn't hear them over your breathing.
Two things can't remain the same
once the barrier is relinquished. The words will demand more.
The night will demand more.
Look me up in two years,
when all you are to me
is a passing thought, a word in a poem.
Touch me. Pull me through to you.
Remember that language is what we have in common.
Lose yourself in me, or pretend that you can,
and I will take you, again, and again,
to where we don't need any words.
We were just there, remember?
Pale light and all.