It is night. For hours I have been walking,
wanting to see you, hoping you might
appear suddenly by the side of the road,
on a bridge, or in the arc of headlights
bending toward me. I have continued

beyond any place you might conceivably be.
Sunk into a dark hollow, between trees
and stone, the river goes where it has to go.
In the cold air I construct long conversations:
whatever we wouldn’t say if you were here.

I recite poems. I return home and write more.
You are, of course, attending within them,
or by a bridge before winter. I fix you
safely, where we might find each other.

But something comes between us, like glass
or water: a distance I cannot avoid.
We meet by accident and fall away.
I come back here, compose another poem,
and walk about at night reciting it to you.

Everything I conceive as possible returns
to an ordered page. I wish I were blind!
I wish my fingers would drop off!
What are they doing, writing all this again?

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