Listening to the Radio While Driving Through Toomsboro
Last night, Isabella called from Chicago, the first time
in seven years. Evidence that any love can fail.
There goes your proof, behind every front door
war rages. It’s our nature, she reminded me:
Women don’t realize how close men are to leaving
and never returning.
After an hour, we trailed off into the natural order
of who we’ve become without each other: bartender
of metaphors, and she, a filmmaker
of how the world should be.
In a dream I had last week, we had coffee
in her Brownstone, sat reading
the Sunday paper at the kitchen table,
strawberry tablecloth, manuka honey
and smoked salmon. There was a sadness
floating through the house for what was lost.
We slept together, again, the dream,
the delusion, the mistake of naked warmth,
the disguise of love for lust.
Every day, for someone, it’s the end
somewhere. My heart is a warehouse,
where, with ease, I learned to note the passing of time
by tax returns, piles of leaves raked in my yard,
a new job, and lately, friends who have died.
Now, “Losing My Religion,” arouses a depth of memory:
how, when driving straight through one night from Mackinac Island
to Atlanta, we transferred one memory for another,
her long distance collect-calls and Amtrak ride to the suburbs,
a long winter’s kiss under a streetlamp, snow floating down,
and a warm hand sliding up the backside of her shirt to snap her bra loose.
There is an understanding one comes to over the years:
from time to time, we dip our toe in a pool
of brackish water, with caution,
to hear a voice. A laugh. And then, we move on.
A. C. Grayling