On a second date with the girl who would end up marrying a childhood friend,
We walked into a small trendy bookshop. Pick one out, she said, and read it,motioning towards the shelves of poetry.
But what if reading is something more intimatethan the sixth hour spent with a stranger, afteran expensive dinner in Manhattan,
Where both of you were too nervousto order what you really wanted. Andmaybe poetry isn’t something
To be read or even written but is, instead,something to be experienced or shared, sometimes alone.
And then when they lit the same city that had the small trendybookshop on fire so that they’d finally be heard, and we sat inour basements thinking
That this is what it feels like to finally not be ambivalent, I talk witha friend if art should be paused until serenity is restored orracism beat, and he mentioned the poet’s question, how
can poetry be written after Auschwitz?And I answered that poetry isn’t written, it’s discovered, like electricity or an unearthed place, always there.
And since Orthodox Jews of different genders do nottouch one another until marriage, you were only a briefvisitor in my life, and so I
Think back to how I pulled a book with abright colored cover off the shelf and as mylips parted to fulfill your dare
I saw that the words on the page were not fit to be spokento a sixth-hour-stranger, so I returned the book to its spotand instead pulled out
A guide to the backroads of Upstate New York. I thoughtthat would be easier to read aloud and I feel now that noone has a problem with road guides after Auschwitz.