Three Reasons

1. On that first day, caught in the crossroads of the high school hallway, I was given a choice: left or right. To what was left, I say: left led me to you, a thousand years of love and suffering, two thousand pages of documentation: field notes, microfiche, poems. You found God in the flesh of my body and, as in the tradition of certain forgotten people, therefore wanted nothing more than to eat me whole.

To what was right, I say nothing. Tide coming in and out. The unchartable movement of stars.

2. You wrote, I do not love you like a mother. This was on the train; we moved toward Manhattan through a flurry of telephone lines, houses and light. I wrote that I loved train-time, in-between time; the space between here and there. It is like the quivering of molecules before they shift to bring a new something into the world. You wrote, I do not love you like a teacher. I do not remember what waited for us in Manhattan. In my mind, we are forever riding the in-between on rattling seats. You are forever writing, You do not love me like a son, and then passing it on.

3. Gary sits in the kitchen, arms folded in the half-light. Through the window I can see: birds, pines, jagged lip of sky. My own lips are dry, and under my tongue something appeared last night that will not go away – a lump, or sore, and I keep checking to see if it is still there. "Use it or lose it," my father used to say. He and Gary would have gotten along; their worlds are orderly, rational, neat. They vote along party lines. They love and correct their wives. Gary offers me a juice and I accept, the sweet acidic sting under my tongue and all. I accept the sore, the situation, Gary in the half-light of morning and his wife dressing upstairs; I accept her bedroom, her bathrobe, the pines and the sky. I accept Gary’s company – in fact, I appreciate it. We say nothing and in this we find camaraderie. We are man and boy, and the questions we do not ask we will use or lose forever.


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