Poems For Adrienne Rich (Iii)
As you say in another way somewhere
men just dropp women gradually
wear-out. The men all nose-dive
out of life after getting all entangled
in it like a massive spider-web
sticky with their own self-pity at
their always predictable predicament.
The women after losing them learn
new loves, new lives, for sometimes
quite a long while then into the earth,
that ash-can for used up humans.
Sometimes a couple stays together
a man and a woman, a man and a man,
a woman and a woman, your latter
way. But the pain of loss, of one’s
potency or a whole partner, remains
with you for the fragmentary whole
of life. It takes some getting used to,
life, then death. Between the two of them
we don’t quite know who or what we
are this or any other time it suits
the cosmos to renege on our aspirations.