The Love Poem Part
Three of my gorgeous friends stood outside the restaurant
where I sat eating dinner with the poet
and made faces at me
through the window.
They were wearing red and turquoise
and pale green silk,
and with their ripe smiles
they looked like goddesses behaving goofily.
This is not what well-mannered women in their 40′s do,
but they did it anyway,
and I laughed and he laughed.
He raised his fork to them and laughed.
I wanted to talk about “Moon-Skin,”
and poetry and courage and mortality,
and we did.
We talked about all of it.
We ate steak and drank red wine,
and if I noticed that his hair did not fall over his eyes in the quite the same way it had all day,
or remembered—just for an instant—
the feel of his hand on my back as we came through the door,
or listened only to the sound of his breathing as we drove back to his hotel,
it does not mean that I hadn’t been paying attention
to all of the talk,
especially about mortality.
Some part of me finally woke up
to the awareness that mind and body together make poetry,
and I wanted to apologize to someone
for taking so long to understand
that I am required to pay attention to all of it,
to use everything,
and my God,
what have you been waiting for?
Yes, tell everything, even how he took the moist, red morsel of meat
from the point of my knife and put it into his mouth,
even this description—so flagrant and entirely lacking in subtlety,
I am allowed to say yes,
yes, it happened exactly that way.