Katherine Yao

I’m not going to make you

leave the poem.

 

Selfishly, I must admit, part of me clings

to the remains of objectivity, 

 

or at least the subjectivity of a guy with a name 

like Walt or William or one of those names

 

that is all first names. But here you are

in the poem, though I have redacted

 

your name for privacy. 

Redacted, Redacted, Redacted — now I can say it all I want. 

 

If you’d listened you’d know 

I only ever promised

 

difficulty. Haven’t you seen

how hard I fight for each poem?

 

Nothing can be expected from Paris. 

All they have given us rots. 

 

You told me once you often think unsummarizable things,

and I didn’t know what you meant,

 

and I loved you for it. 

You, my algo diferente. 

 

Once, I dreamed 

of a common language.

 

Somehow, we were most honest

when language split open. 

 

The closest I can offer you

to sense is couplets. 

 

Can’t you hear the cicadas 

pleading? They too

 

have loved this mutilated world. All I want 

is to see you again tomorrow.