Monday, September 28, 2015

"The Circumstances" by Joe Bolton

If strength is love, then we weren't strong enough,
But if strength is letting love go, we were.
Men among men, we couldn't trust each other.
With women, it was ourselves we couldn't trust.
It had to do with houses and with cars,
With what had to be done and with money.
We wound up loving money like a country
In a country we loved like women, its stars
Transposed from flag to night sky, its lithe palms
Lonely beyond all hope of consolation.
Night after night, the festive repetition
Of food and drink, of music and new films...
--It failed us, finally, or else we failed it.
We never brought the long quarrel with our fathers
To a close, and so never saw our daughters
Until they'd drifted away like money spent.
It rained then. And suddenly the faces
Of our wives were older, our faces were old,
The screens went blank, the light dimmed, and the cold
Came to stay for good in our white houses.
Dying, what we remembered of our lives
Was nothing more or less than simply talking
About nothing in particular, walking
Nowhere down dark streets with other men's wives.
-from The Last Nostalgia

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