Ghazal of the Better-Unbegun
A book is a suicide postponed.
Too volatile, am I? too voluble? too much a word-person? I blame the soup: I'm a primordially stirred person. Two pronouns and a vehicle was Icarus with wings. The apparatus of his selves made an ab- surd person. The sound I make is sympathy's: sad dogs are tied afar. But howling I become an ever more un- heard person. I need a hundred more of you to make a likelihood. The mirror's not convincing-- that at-best in- ferred person. As time's revealing gets revolting, I start looking out. Look in and what you see is one unholy blurred person. The only cure for birth one doesn't love to contemplate. Better to be an unsung song, an unoc- curred person. McHugh, you'll be the death of me -- each self and second studied! Addressing you like this, I'm halfway to the third person.
From The Father of the Predicaments, forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press in September 1999. Copyright © 1999 by Heather McHugh. Reprinted by permission of the author.