Maybe I am destined
to write the same old poem
like Pinter wrote a play
or Steinbeck a story
but here I am, nonetheless,
thinking of you —
of us —
in the magical mystery
of times gone by,
when we could not possibly understand
the smallness of what we were:

Here is Hamlet,
we said,
“to thine own self be true,”
poor, poor Polonius
dying a thousand deaths
at the hands of our amateur.

Here is Beethoven,
we played,
our fingers long and clumsy,
plunking note by note
of a sonata in moonlight
in the middle of a dull hot day.

Here is poetry,
I said,
and I gave it to you,
the words thick and sweet like honey,
but with only me, 
it stuck to the roof of my mouth.

after we had kissed —
when love died on my lips — 
I realized I had only words,
and you moved on to larger things
as I stood there
in the craters of your footsteps
considering all of the reasons
of how you and language abandoned me
and why I could not dream
of anything to say.

Copyright © 2016 John Grimmett. All rights reserved.

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