I’ve cleaned off a space on my desk big enough to riff
on you twenty times. By which I mean I’m on the bus
back from Boston, thinking of your eyes and mouth and hands.
This poem, you may have noticed, has an I and a you. This poem
is the daughter we don’t have. She’s a curly-headed implicated
implicator. She’s American. She’ll be oddly happy up through
the age of ten, then suffer seven years of anger. Blame her mother;
blame her father. Emerge from flame knowing the different
music. American. This is our new year of learning urgency
and a kind of loose-headed, courageous heart. Some people think you
shouldn’t use “courageous” in a poem. But consider this:
Near the end of Ingrid Bergman’s life, she and her friend
Liv Ullman went to the movies. Fifteen minutes in, Ingrid leans
over and says, “I don’t have time for this,” then gets up and leaves.
This is all just to say, there’s a wild low singing under all these naps,
and from now on I’m telling the truth. From now on, I’m telling
some version of the truth.