You stand as rocks stand
to which the sea reaches
in transparent waves of longing;
they are marred, finally;
everything fixed is marred.
And the sea triumphs,
like all that is false,
all that is fluent and womanly.
From behind, a lens
opens for your body. Why
should you turn? It doesn’t matter
who the witness is,
for whom you are suffering,
for whom you are standing still.
to sleep alone again
and it’s so fucking hard.” —Richard Brautigan
“The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.”-Margaret Atwood
The boy speaks in Russian (I understand him neither in the dream nor in real life). He opens his eyes and looks at me, apologizing in English for keeping them closed.
When I wake up I think he must have seen me. But when I kiss him he looks surprised, as if he were blind.
The night I met you I wrote It is possible I have imagined my entire life.
My great-grandmother’s lamp is mine now. It is made of rose quartz — that is, it is made of poetry.
More poetry: A coin you dropped when you took your pants off is still on the floor. Please come back and pick it up.
More: The scar on my hand I got cleaning the house for you has outlasted you. In this way you are indelible, but only as long as I have my hand.
by Sarah Manguso