Love After LoveThe time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other's welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.
But drunkenly, or secretly, we swore, Disciples of that astigmatic saint, That we would never leave the islandUntil we had put down, in paint, in words, As palmists learn the network of a hand, All of its sunken, leaf-choked ravines, Every neglected, self-pitying inletMuttering in brackish dialect, the ropes of mangrovesFrom which old soldier crabs slippedSurrendering to slush, Each ochre track seeking some hilltop andLosing itself in an unfinished phrase, Under sand shipyards where the burnt-out palmsInverted the design of unrigged schooners, Entering forests, boiling with life, Goyave, corrosol, bois-canot, sapotille. Days!The sun drumming, drumming, Past the defeated pennons of the palms, Roads limp from sunstroke, Past green flutes of the grassThe ocean cannonading, come!Wonder that opened like the fanOf the dividing frondsOn some noon-struck sahara, Where my heart from its rib cage yelped like a pupAfter clouds of sanderlings rustily wheelingThe world on its ancient, Invisible axis, The breakers slow-dolphining over more breakers, To swivel our easels down, as firmAs conquerors who had discovered home.