M---- (1989; another fragment)

4-29-04, 1:37 a.m.

Because I can't sleep and it's your fault
(evil one)
I find myself driven to poetry.
Not a road I've driven down a lot lately:
I used to drive this way a lot,
stop, get out of the car,
walk around, poke through the underbrush.
Things are a little overgrown here now--
not thorny so much as tangled,
the sort of brush you can make your way
through, but only if you go slowly.
Slowly, like you told me
(evil one)
but anyway I find myself here,
truck stopped,
by the side of the road
looking at the underbrush--
poking around a little, seeing
if maybe there's a deer path or
some other way in that's not so brambly.
Because there's something very compelling
about this underbrush that leads to
poetry, leads to . . .
well I don't really remember where it leads;
I don't think I ever got that far into the brush, just
wandered around, went poking through trails,
then went back to the road,
back where I was going before--
forgot about the brambles, about
until the next time something drew me back.
(evil one)
something tells me there's jasmine in that thicket--
jasmine and honeysuckle and other scents.
I take another breath, feel a dry breeze;
the air hints at something,
something within the thicket:
I glance at the road
where my truck is waiting--
I'm supposed to be going somewhere,
following plans,
hadn't planned on being distracted by
jasmine and honeysuckle and
brambles by the roadside and
poetry and
(evil one)
so I glance again at the road,
then at the thicket;
if I see a path, the road can wait a while.

My instincts were a little too good here. As love poems go, this one worked...um...better in the short run than the long run. Not every thicket has a trail leading into it, a lesson the idealist in me hasn't always wanted to accept. And not everyone is quite so willing to leave the road and go poking through thickets in search of adventure or discovery.

By the same token, not every relationship ends in a resolution; some just inexplicably disappear. As love poems go, I suspect this says a lot more about me than about my partner at the time.

Copyright © 2004 by Leigh Grossman