Frank Bidart


To The Dead


What I hope (when I hope) is that we'll
see each other again,--

. . . and again reach the VEIN

in which we loved each other . .
It existed. It existed.

There is a NIGHT within the NIGHT,--

. . . for, like the detectives (the Ritz Brothers)
in The Gorilla,

once we'd been battered by the gorilla

we searched the walls, the intricately carved
impenetrable paneling

for a button, lever, latch

that unlocks a secret door that
reveals at last the secret chambers,

CORRIDORS within WALLS,

(the disenthralling, necessary, dreamed structure
beneath the structure we see,)

that is the HOUSE within the HOUSE . . .

There is a NIGHT within the NIGHT,--

. . . there were (for example) months when I seemed only
to displease, frustrate,

disappoint you--; then, something triggered

a drunk lasting for days, and as you
slowly and shakily sobered up,

sick, throbbing with remorse and self-loathing,

insight like ashes: clung
to; useless; hated . . .

This was the viewing of the power of the waters

while the waters were asleep:--
secrets, histories of loves, betrayals, double-binds

not fit (you thought) for the light of day . . .

There is a NIGHT within the NIGHT,--

. . . for, there at times at night, still we
inhabit the secret place together . . .

Is this wisdom, or self-pity?--

The love I've known is the love of
two people staring

not at each other, but in the same direction.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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