The Responsibility of Love

Where you are now, the only lights are stars 
and oil lamps flaring on vine-covered porches.   
Where you are now, it must be midnight.  
No one has bothered to name all the roads 
that overlook the sea.  The freshened air 
smells of myrtle and white jasmine.  A church 
stands on the headland, and I hope it might 
keep one thought of me alive in your head.  

Autumn is here: warm days becoming cold.  
The trees drop more leaves, love, each time it rains.  
I eat my meals with the TV turned on, 
but softly so the neighbors won’t complain.  
The kilim is stained by the food I spilled 
the first day--and the second--you were gone. 

From Tug, published by Graywolf Press. Copyright © 1999. Used with permission.