What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.
Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded . . . sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly.
They said to say goodnight
And not goodbye, unplugged
The TV when it rained. They hid
Money in mattresses
So to sleep on decisions.
Some of their children
Were not their children. Some
Of their parents had no birthdates.
They could sweat a cold out
Of you. They’d wake without
An alarm telling them to.
Even the short ones reached
Certain shelves. Even the skinny
Cooked animals too quick
To catch. And I don’t care
How ugly one of them arrived,
That one got married
To somebody fine. They fed
Families with change and wiped
Their kitchens clean.
Then another century came.
People like me forgot their names.
Jericho Brown (2015)
“Dried roses…” Were these from some walk
All those years ago? Were you the one
Was with me? Did we talk?
Who else had come along?
Memory can stand upright
Like an ordered row of stiff stems,
Dead echo of flowering heads,
Roses once white, pink and red.
Back of them the blackness,
Backdrop for all our lives,
The wonders we thought to remember
Still life, still life.
Robert Creeley (1999)
Morning Love Poem
Dreamt last night I fed you, unknowingly,
something you were allergic to.
And you were gone, like that.
You don’t have even a single allergy,
but still. The dream cracked. Cars nose-dived
off snow banks into side streets. Sometimes
dreams slip poison, make the living
dead then alive again, twirling
in an unfamiliar room.
It’s hard to say I need you enough.
Today I did. Walked into your morning
shower fully clothed. All the moments
we stop ourselves just because we might
feel embarrassed or impractical, or get wet.
Tara Skurtu (2017)
im not sure i can appreciate indoor spaces like i used to and things like going out no longer seem real to me