How often it is that we turn each other
into metaphors, months into men, this summer a summer
that belongs to us and us alone.
And you, had we not been somewhat in love that May,
all those years ago, would the post office still equate a
secret, would a yellow taxi still mean leaving, and would
a train platform still make me cry when dusk hits in Manhattan?
Mark Doty’s partner died after AIDS and everything he has seen since
has looked like loss. Sylvia Plath killed herself and afterwards, people
could only approach ovens with apologies and remorse.
The flowers in our common room keep dying. The
fruit in the bowl is always barely there.
How many times do we say goodbye before we leave? How
many times do we pretend that absence makes the heart grow
Once, I believed in you like a poem, turned your heart
into a metaphor for my heart, turned our months into honey and
But metaphors come, and metaphors go, and
not even seasons have the courtesy to stay till dawn.