Love, Poetry

Happy 100 Days: 49

One day the thing you wished and wished for finally flits down from the clouds and comes close enough to grab. So you reach and you see it wasn’t Icarus after all or a shooting star or anything. It was just a gnat, and it really wasn’t so far off, it was just an inch away all along. And now it is your hand, and so what? You let it go. And then what? Maybe stop making shapes from the clouds. Maybe your savior is not going to emerge backwards through the vanishing point on the horizon. You do not need to squint to see what is coming. Let it settle around you like the way the November frost does whether you asked for it or not. Bundle up. Make your own warmth and notice the way your breath stays close for a beat or two before it leaves you forever.

Tear it Down
by Jack Gilbert

We find out the heart only by dismantling what
the heart knows. By redefining the morning,
we find a morning that comes just after darkness.
We can break through marriage into marriage.
By insisting on love we spoil it, get beyond
affection and wade mouth-deep into love.
We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars.
But going back toward childhood will not help.
The village is not better than Pittsburgh.
Only Pittsburgh is more than Pittsburgh.
Rome is better than Rome in the same way the sound
of raccoon tongues licking the inside walls
of the garbage tub is more than the stir
of them in the muck of the garbage. Love is not
enough. We die and are put into the earth forever.
We should insist while there is still time. We must
eat through the wildness of her sweet body already
in our bed to reach the body within the body.

The poet Jack Gilbert passed away earlier this week. Read more of his work here.

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