Nothing can ever happen twice. In consequence, the sorry fact is that we arrive here improvised and leave without the chance to practice. Even if there is no one dumber, if you're the planet's biggest dunce, you can't repeat the class in summer: this course is only offered once. No day copies yesterday, no two nights will teach what bliss is in precisely the same way, with precisely the same kisses. One day, perhaps some idle tongue mentions your name by accident: I feel as if a rose were flung into the room, all hue and scent. The next day, though you're here with me, I can't help looking at the clock: A rose? A rose? What could that be? Is it a flower or a rock? Why do we treat the fleeting day with so much needless fear and sorrow? It's in its nature not to stay: Today is always gone tomorrow. With smiles and kisses, we prefer to seek accord beneath our star, although we're different (we concur) just as two drops of water are.
Love at First Sight
They’re both convinced
that a sudden passion joined them.
Such certainty is beautiful,
but uncertainty is more beautiful still.
Since they’d never met before, they’re sure
that there’d been nothing between them.
But what’s the word from the streets, staircases, hallways—
perhaps they’ve passed by each other a million times?
I want to ask them
if they don’t remember—
a moment face to face
in some revolving door?
perhaps a “sorry” muttered in a crowd?
a curt “wrong number” caught in the receiver?—
but I know the answer.
No, they don’t remember.
They’d be amazed to hear
that Chance has been toying with them
now for years.
Not quite ready yet
to become their Destiny,
it pushed them close, drove them apart,
it barred their path,
stifling a laugh,
and then leaped aside.
There were signs and signals,
even if they couldn’t read them yet.
Perhaps three years ago
or just last Tuesday
a certain leaf fluttered
from one shoulder to another?
Something was dropped and then picked up.
Who knows, maybe the ball that vanished
into childhood’s thicket?
There were doorknobs and doorbells
where one touch had covered another
Suitcases checked and standing side by side.
One night, perhaps, the same dream,
grown hazy by morning.
is only a sequel, after all,
and the book of events
is always open halfway through.