Issue 19, Summer 1958
What can she tell him now, now that the hour
Is vanished from the room, the furniture
Flat without freshness, flat without power
To compose a scene; and is she even sure
The hour was there, the air strictly composed
To catch her breath, sustain her thought, her wish.
Now that even memory is forced
Now that the spoon is silent in the dish?
And can she take his hand, hoping that touch
Once more will sweep away the other lives
That always part them? She asks not very much
Whose days will soon be buried in the graves
Of revery as shadows take their place.
And if she rests her head, closing her eyes,
She has no single image of his face.
Her mind will wander through a thousand lies
To fix upon a scene she had forgotten.
Why recollect one day and not another:
The turtle floating in the bowl, all rotten,
The rapid, waxy fingers of her mother?
Where is she now, to what can she return,
To what advance? The goal toward which her youth
Once seemed to point, she meditates to learn.
Is where, is past? Did it exist in truth?
Yet, she can’t think how she would change her life.
She finds a fullness in her melancholy.
Whoever he may be, she is his wife.
The question her lips seek is still not ready.