John D. Towle
Mary Alice - Poem by John D. Towle
I can't see any way to come here everyday.
It's a waste of time between us.
I sit here with my thoughts, and you with yours
like a time bomb left in Hellas.
We should clash and struggle and fight,
detest each other's presence.
Then perhaps in the bloody mess
we'd find some life to lead us
beyond these pleasantries,
beyond this smiling, placid, drift of smoke
rising like the time from some lit cigarette,
lifting the pollution levels in the neurons of our brain.
And we have just one brain, you and I,
one like thought which neither can express
but there nonetheless,
staring us both in the face like death
whenever our eye should chance to meet.
And I fix our eye upon the West,
Homer, Horace, Catullus and the rest;
nothing too much (or is it the reverse),
lines from ancient times dry with dust,
while I breath and huff and puff,
but no life grows in them from me.
Ah woman, is that you?
I see you some year from now,
pen in hand, lost, alone, ready to become mankind,
or is it womankind,
or perhaps just kind,
as you remember me falling here before you
It's such a waste of time,
You with your thoughts and me with mine.
Why do I come here everyday
to see you anyway?
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