With, Within, Without
Love is a good subject for a short story but not a good subject for a
poem. Death is the only good subject for poems.
And yet the first writing impulse, when in love, is to write a love
Ladybugs with their spots, butterflies with their secret inner
wing-surfaces-the world is very beautiful. This is also a good subject
for a poem because our consciousness of it is finite.
Ditto love. But this realization must be in the poem for it to be a
Sixth grade-we have to memorize the prepositions. The first nervous boy
forgets the middle half of the list, pauses, and solemnly speaks the
last three. No one forgets the ending. It is a litany.
That year I stole a spelling quiz out of the desk of a boy named Biz, I
loved him so much. In my mind he had written the words to me. In my mind it was the first love letter.
But now the quiz is gone, I am old. Soon no one will know how my small heart beat only for him.
My eagerness, each day, to read the mail: an eagerness to find the poem
I could never quite imagine he wrote.