From Either Side Of You (Love Poem)

I thought I would keep going without you,
stay in these few rooms, stare at the chairs I hate
without you. I thought I would go on like that,
alone with my days, bitter, smoking into the steering wheel
toward Alhambra, or Pomona, driving out there
to build house frames, to work machines, driving
Interstate 10 into gray hell.
I thought I would go on like that
full of wretched conceptions, my petty spite,
dreams of illness and a toy window I am finally
small enough to fit through― I thought I would go on
without you. But I waited. To have come this far
I had to find things to compare with you, just as
I compare myself with those rivers that run
with dead things, and with the most fertile
liquid, and with dark fish tossing from the depth.
I started to trust in you, in the tiny flower of shining glass
over the pause of breath within you― just as
inside the leaf there is another in the pause of wind,
a transparent leaf which is the one
that is more real. I started to trust in you
as I trust in those things that surrounded you
in the mist that moved over the wisteria while we talked,
surrounded by the clouds mauve color, as your hair
surrounded your throat, the blossoms of the pomegranate
turning slightly metallic, as the breeze surrounded us
in the dusk, in late spring. I started to trust in you,
in what comes from either side of you
impassively given― without knowledge,
without request. I trust in the petals that open
on the invisible hedge.

by Doren Robbins

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