Another April: Sestina
April arrived as if opening the wrong door. She, deciding
not to leave, made her way to the back of the room. Settling
into conversation, she ordered a drink or two, acting casual
as if her invitation was delayed in the mail, not forgotten
altogether. I didn’t mention it. It wasn’t my place.
I’ve never had any control over hour or days or months.
I haven’t thought of you for so long it seems like months.
I have not once questioned, (I claim) my decision.
because everything that begins, must return to the place
it started. Everything disturbed will eventually settle.
If there was a choice, I didn’t see it, or else I’ve forgotten
what it was. But, don’t think I did it casually.
Nothing that was between us could ever be casual,
not in all the years of us, the years, the weeks and months
of the life I wanted. (did I tell you that?) How can I forget
the mornings I’d find you fast asleep, and almost decide
not to wake you from the rest that finally settled
over you, as you tried to put the laundry in its place.
And I wonder, how a man is changed by places
in his life. Does he carry them all inside him, casually
moving from one into the other until the present settles
into his bones and keeps him there, as pages of months
fly off the calendar. Is there ever a real decision,
or do we only try our best and then count on forgetting
what we couldn’t fix. Christ, how I wish I could forget
even one little piece of who I’ve been, even one time, one place.
I’m tired of carrying all of this, every conversation, decision
introduction and goodbye, every step and misstep, each casual
gesture and ultimatory look. Yet I know that if you sleep a month
you’ll always feel the need to compensate, to settle
the account. When you can’t have what you want, you settle
for what there is. Jesus forgot to say “Blessed are the forgetful,
for they won’t feels as cheated as the rest.” This is the month
I’m stuck with, this is the day, the hour, the time and place
You know it as well as I do. We are all of us, only the casualties
of a million past collisions. But let’s pretend that we can decide
instead, whether to settle, to take (say they are) our own places.
Let’s say we had a dream we’ll soon forget. Smile and walk casually
as if life will wait however many months for this decision.