as if by gravity. Someone has to care, if not me,
he’d thought; perhaps Someone has to care about me,
which phrases twined into one orbit, weighted
equally with their own cold
This is what my boyfriend thought: to drag
his love-gift in over a thousand protestations.
He would have done anything to impress
upon me what tied, the structure
of our sex intricate and unvaried as if fatal, as if
kisses were isotopes that radiated.
Or we were planetary: our shared affection no more faithful
than a hood of methane.
There was nothing in those notebooks
that needed protection. Nothing private
of the great poet ferried from the otherworld.
All we learned was that he had terrible handwriting. But
why shouldn’t I love most the accomplished?
This I learned, as months later I learned to say Hell
would be staying with you forever
to this man who brought me entry,
language like an irradium of hail, white-hot
silicate raining through space forever.
I learned to be cruel as protection, poling
desire and that, love’s boredom stiffened in each cell.
This is not the only galaxy in the universe.
This is not the only planet, the coldest one, even further
from our star than Neptune which itself is plagued by wind-storms.
Years before a lawyer brought me poems from the dead.
Faithful dog, what keeps you here?
the planets whisper. And watch each night, attracted
to the brilliance
of men we still believe
are found in stars.
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