Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Sweetness
 
Just when it has seemed I couldn’t bear   
   one more friend   
waking with a tumor, one more maniac   


with a perfect reason, often a sweetness   
   has come   
and changed nothing in the world   


except the way I stumbled through it,   
   for a while lost   
in the ignorance of loving   


someone or something, the world shrunk   
   to mouth-size,   
hand-size, and never seeming small.   


I acknowledge there is no sweetness   
   that doesn’t leave a stain,   
no sweetness that’s ever sufficiently sweet ....   


Tonight a friend called to say his lover   
   was killed in a car   
he was driving. His voice was low   


and guttural, he repeated what he needed   
   to repeat, and I repeated   
the one or two words we have for such grief   


until we were speaking only in tones.   
   Often a sweetness comes   
as if on loan, stays just long enough   


to make sense of what it means to be alive,   
   then returns to its dark   
source. As for me, I don’t care   


where it’s been, or what bitter road   
   it’s traveled   
to come so far, to taste so good.
 
(Sweetness, by Stephen Dunn)