“I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
Sometimes the morning crashes through the blinds,
noisy with light; today, fragmented by fog,
it must be reconstructed as the eye
pieces together the bed, the man beside me,
the dear faces in the silver frames.
This is the life I’ve chosen so easily
that even a stormy dawn like this one fails
to ready me for your call, your small request:
a reason not to end your life at the end
of our conversation, one oval analgesic
after another. You know how to do this
having learned from previous attempts,
but nothing prepares me to explain why
the same pale capsules on my shelf promise
a more benign relief. Through the curtain
of rain, persimmons glow in the leafless tree.
Every year, warblers puncture the skins
and feed. As sad as I have ever been,
such recurrence cheers me. Your brand of grief
is out of my depth. You want the ordinary:
husband, child. How can I, who have both,
swear I’d manage on the thinner broth
of friendships like the one I offer now?
Even the rainbow, flung between our houses,
is just a promise that the world goes on.
I don’t know how you make yourself go on;
the truth: I only know I want you to.