Alone, Together


Where I’m writing this there’s an ad for high heaven.
It cost me more than those evenings to see you;
more than a lifetime to see my own face.
Money and time then. Both seem misspent here.
I want the bedroom wall bronze
so I sleep without looking for more.
The ocean is old. Planes curve by
and you’re back or that’s luck,
though not lucky enough to become love.
Or the day in my mother’s life
when she forgets (even briefly) about me.
It’s not kind to acknowledge affection is finite,
that all kinds of love have to end.
So if cruelty is one side of freedom
we may want to stay free together alone in the thin afternoon.
I can’t be here or with you. I know that.
But maybe I’m simple, vicious
and human after all.
When the clocks of this world all go useless with promise,
the coyotes crossing the yard look beyond us and roam.
We can dine and pretend that our lives
are our lives without speaking.
Fog in the hills.
People stuck in more traffic but moving.
Someone thinking of us. Someone setting the knives.