Bogliasco

Robert Polito

I’m always running ahead of my life,
The way when we walk you are always

Three, fifteen, forty steps behind
Taking a picture, or inspecting

A bottlebrush tree, a cornice, the sea
As it breaks white on the striated rock,

As though I can’t dare look, and
I’m always running away from myself

The way when we walk you are always
Asking me to slow down, and what will happen

When one of us dies, and, if it’s me first,
There’s no one’s back in our photos anymore.
 

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Difference

Talk to you tonight,
I wrote this morning, knowing
it would only be the afternoon
where you are, will be,
whole neighborhood still
wrapped in a tule fog
that won’t let up—so you reported
before supper
                       while I slept.
I almost wrote this afternoon
instead, taking your point
of view, dissolving into it—
but then imagined
you half-awake, and irked,
into my future/current noon
texting for clarification.