There you are,
looking like the Khan’s most favored concubine,
but in a London doorway,
cigarette and beige Aquascutum, smiling,
at me, it would seem,
all ardor, woundedness and hope.
How would I not have adored you?
And you . . and you . . .
“Dear August . . .” Oh, no I can’t, please . . .
The carnage . . .
Drifts of blue aerogrammes:
I tried phoning last night . . .
If I could somehow make a single balloon payment
to rid myself of all this,
or with a click, like Adobe Reader download;
Worse still the weight of kindness –
tumuli, drumlins, lava heaps of kindness,
everywhere, choking the landscape . . .
Must I just now be reminded
how much, how often, how many, and unprompted?
Dare I pretend to be worthy?
I would be a monster.
Monster? you say.
Please, I am too inconsequential . . .
I’m sorry, I’m sorry . . .
STOP IT, WITH THE “I’M SORRY,” DAMMIT!
No, no, I have disappointed everyone.
Even those of you who might have believed otherwise,
trust me, you were mistaken.
40 years, 20 marbled letter files of proof:
I stand here before you, the accused.