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Sport 12: Autumn 1994

La Strada

page 18

La Strada

Let us call it love: your absences, your violence.
Take this in reply, a poem less flattering than the rest
I seal with my sort of love and send
towards a little man on a long road.

The people you meet, in their tents and their towns
are actors, people whose faces light up
before they turn around, forget you, and go home.
What you go looking for I daresay you will find.

I know what you’ll say—What does she know? She

And so I do. Your everlasting meanness rules our lives,
your freedom by now nothing but a bare covering.
What do you want from me? Remember—I don’t lend. I give.

Sunshine on a plain wall. I know it’s there.
My skin knows it, and knows when it is gone.
That is what I like: the sun. And when
it is gone, I mind. But not for long.

Eventually God will dispose of us. He will
give us a number. We forget almost everything
and later, too, will forget what it is like to be side by side,
to lie and listen to your fist of a heart opening.