The way I panic and can’t breathe, drowning in a dream. The way I wake up gasping, not knowing where I’ve been.
The fist clenched round my heart
loosens a little, and I gasp
brightness; but it tightens
again. When have I ever not loved
the pain of love? But this has moved
past love to mania. This has the strong
clench of the madman, this is
gripping the ledge of unreason, before
plunging howling into the abyss.
Hold hard then, heart. This way at least you live.
This is from Collected Poems 1948-1984 by Derek Walcott, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1986.