On the bus to Hermit’s Rest, my forehead
pressed into the window, I watched the light
foreshadowing the sun. And then it rose,
brilliant. I exclaimed, “there’s the sun.”
Not having a companion, I addressed the world
at large, a small world, mind you. I admit
I claimed attention for being excited
by the vast beauty of the world.
The sun kept rising. It lit up the river
down below, the blushing canyon walls.
Two seats in front of me a handsome man
with Slavic features and a silent woman
beside him turned and gave me a look
of utter contempt.
The sun kept moving higher. The river
shimmered green below.
It felt like a huge claw around my heart.
It wouldn’t let go despite the magic
all around. I swore to be silent forever
and let all beauty be a secret
from now on between the sun and me.
It was a vow I will not keep.
Already I am asking. Why? And what
have you done with my exuberance
and with my tenderness? Was it
of any use to you to take it like that?
I want to climb, indifferent like sun
and water, past unnecessary contempt.
When I am alone, I am not ugly.
Our dreams shiver
under a blanket of winter.
I keep wondering: when
will you remember how lovely
I am? I think of the princess and
her golden road. I even tell you
I am sad because
nobody has ever loved me
like I love you. You hand me
a shawl of comfort: how you do
love me, just not like that.
So spring will come again, if not
for us, at least for others. I dream
a memory of water on parched land.
I want to run the same path
each day, you want to explore
a different path. I want to hold
the same lover each day.
I wonder about you.
I want to learn from you. If
you don’t get what you want
one day, you simply wait a day
or two and ask again.
You never know. Maybe today
will be different.
Maybe today I’ll find the ladder
that will hold us