Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Half-Light By Frank Bidart

That crazy drunken night I

maneuvered you out into a field outside of

Coachella - I’d never seen a sky

so full of stars, as if the dirt of our lives

still were sprinkled with glistening

white shells from the ancient seabed

beneath us that receded long ago.

Parallel. We lay in parallel furrows.

- That suffocated, fearful

look on your face.

Jim, yesterday I heard your wife on the phone

tell me you died almost nine months ago.

Jim, now we cannot ever. Bitter

that we cannot ever have

the conversation that in

nature and alive we never had. Now not ever.

We have not spoken in years. I thought

perhaps at ninety or a hundred, two

broken-down old men, we wouldn’t

give a damn, and find speech.

When I tell you that all the years we were

undergraduates I was madly in love with you

you say you

knew. I say I knew you

knew. You say

There was no place in nature we could meet.

You say this as if you need me to

admit something. No place

in nature, given our natures. Or is this

warning? I say what is happening now is

happening only because one of us is

dead. You laugh and say, Or both of us!

Our words

will be weirdly jolly.

That light I now envy

exists only on this page.

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