I did go out that summer day
with an old lover, into the mountains.
We had a meal by the river, then
lay together and made love
on the scratchy blanket.
Peonies make me think of you,
how they open, and open, unfolding
petal after petal, so lush, so brazen;
how we chased each other, room
to room, naked and ecstatic.
If you had asked, I would have
gone with you. I would have
left all rules behind, followed you,
led the way into that unknown
wilderness, that anarchy of desire.
I should have loved you. Too late
for me, you came in dignity,
in grace. Too late for me, you
offered more than I could take.
I should have loved you.
Some of the people I've loved
were indifferent or hateful parents;
they cheated on their spouses;
they looked in the mirror and lied.
I knew this and loved them anyway.
Yes, I did sneak out for a smoke.
No, I don't know what that is.
I don't want to be like you.
Sometimes I don't love you at all.
You are greedy and selfish.
You are not beautiful. I know this
and love you anyway.
I did not do my very best.
[I found this on my hard drive this morning. It's clearly mine, though I do not remember writing it. There are more of these. A different voice. Perhaps a middle-of-the-night voice?]