Could anything be more beautiful?

The Act
William Carlos Williams

There were the roses, in the rain.

Don’t cut them, I pleaded.

They won’t last, she said.

But they’re so beautiful

where they are.

Agh, we were all beautiful once, she said,

and cut them and gave them to me

in my hand.

I am tired. So, so tired. I have been working so hard these past few weeks when I came to a point of questioning why I am doing this, and for whom, and if it’s something I enjoy doing, or, like things in my long history of Things I Want Or Don’t Want, if it’s something I really wanted for my life.

I tried to come up with a list of things that people say one should have to feel secure: success, money, fame, power. Such ugly words. I tried to come up with a list of things that I need to have at this time: to stop feeling awkward about my body and the space I occupy; to avoid second-guessing my thoughts, my decisions, and my feelings on things; to refrain from comparing myself and my life with everybody else’s because, really, there’s just one me.

I don’t know how to consolidate these two lists. I think there’s a point I wanted to make when I started writing this down but I’m just tired. So here:

Danse Russe
William Carlos Williams

If when my wife is sleeping
and the baby and Kathleen
are sleeping
and the sun is a flame-white disc
in silken mists
above shining trees,—
if I in my north room
dance naked, grotesquely
before my mirror
waving my shirt round my head
and singing softly to myself:
“I am lonely, lonely.
I was born to be lonely,
I am best so!”
If I admire my arms, my face,
my shoulders, flanks, buttocks
against the yellow drawn shades,—

Who shall say I am not
the happy genius of my household?

Where has the week gone? I am losing days again.

A Love Song
William Carlos Williams

What have I to say to you
When we shall meet?
Yet—
I lie here thinking of you.

The stain of love
Is upon the world.
Yellow, yellow, yellow,
It eats into the leaves,
Smears with saffron
The horned branches that lean
Heavily
Against a smooth purple sky.

There is no light—
Only a honey-thick stain
That drips from leaf to leaf
And limb to limb
Spoiling the colours
Of the whole world.

I am alone.
The weight of love
Has buoyed me up
Till my head
Knocks against the sky.

See me!
My hair is dripping with nectar—
Starlings carry it
On their black wings.
See, at last
My arms and my hands
Are lying idle.

How can I tell
If I shall ever love you again
As I do now?

I imagine coming home to this note. I imagine finding you, asleep on the couch, fruit stains on your fingers. I imagine smoothing the hair that curls on your forehead. How an entire universe resides on that touch.

This Is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

— William Carlos Williams