I’m not in the habit of making New Year’s resolutions, but the last few years have brought home to me how much I have let myself become isolated. At first, by burning all my energy on the pyre of the workplace, and later by the necessities of the pandemic, and just lately by the momentum of habit. So, this year I aim to reach out more to those I love, but have neglected in my self-absorption. Hopefully while we all remain above ground.
For A.H. and all the rest.
That last year we all seemed to shine so brightly,
budding into artists, musicians, painters, writers.
And there was this sense that here was a place
that was ours: this park, this village, these hills.
Together we made something like a firefly lantern
but, when school was done, the lantern split
and off went everyone, winking in every direction,
except for me, bound for college here at home.
In college another boho band arose; us against the Man,
us against the world. We lived in each other’s pockets,
drank from each other’s glasses. We owned the bars
and ranged free across the rooftops of the night.
But how could it last once its time had passed?
A town once full of brothers and sisters became
filled with strangers. All but a few of my beloved
moved on, a talent I never did get the hang of.
A rookie mistake, wanting others more than they want
to stay. Lovers learn to hide the hunger of the heart
lest they grind the stones of longing into sand.
It was their own longings took them away, after all.
I get it, but never liked it. Phone calls, letters — no.
I needed to be in the same room, breathe the same air.
I wanted to sit close and talk the stars out of the sky again.
But it’s only in dreams now, you briefly back above the soil.
Note: unpublished draft