“It doesn’t matter,” the better angel said,
“they have been dead for years.”
– Jack Gilbert (“The End of Paradise”)
All the goodbyes we never said come to mind
with jumbled names and faces framed
in other times and places. We had our moment—
touched the tender part of innocence, grew stronger
for it and survived, or not, somewhere out there, yet
that moment lives, revived as they come visiting
when I have the time to entertain and be polite.
You see what we have done, my friends—so easy
to deny those passions that enflamed us then,
the fires we shared in dance and song that rose
with smoke to these same stars that hold our dreams.
I write notes for envelopes without addresses,
because no one stays in the same space anymore—yet
that moment lives, revived as they come visiting.