In Want of Crossing

R.L. Wheeler

Say the moonlight glints across the moat’s surface

yet never drowns. Say such light is sturdy as a bridge

absolving tomorrow of its sadness. Nights move

through lampless rooms as if unencumbered

by the theater of our human want, though none of us

are in need of rescue. I can cross the water. Let me

find a kinder mud. Within me, there is a kingdom

of absence I’ve again and again tried to overthrow

but the king, despite his facelessness, is steadfast.

There is so much I wish I could have given you

I whisper into my own ear and fail to hear.

With my hands I’ve dug dazzling burial plots

in dirt and relinquished, there, my dull

weapons. So what if this, too, is violence

I cannot recognize. It’s true, I do not know how

to glimpse even the edge of anyone’s mind

without loving every corner. I am not sure

if I can call such surrender love.


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