Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Self Portrait in Dark Interior

                                  —for Patrick Rosal

Before, ache never seemed long like a tunnel
under the city flaring off another tunnel
the subway rumbled against, or the dark

jutting out of daylight’s reach up on 187th
when I know some part is inhabited and
that habitation looks out at me. I know

every uninhabited place lodges a thing looking
out. I have grown into a life, become middle
aged, deepened into the hidden inside, like

the day into its other half, or a memory
of a woman’s silence after she didn’t
want to be kissed, and I wonder when rot

began, and I wonder what other ideas the cabbie
had when he turned into the truck’s path.
Sometimes silence is emptier than some oaths

I have made. Hours change habits and late seeps
into early and rain, in another part of this
country, suddenly, heavily falls, flattens seams,

frays and splits them like I did away from a lover once
in a city where both of us were foreign, and she
the only person who recognized me for a thousand miles,

the only one who knew where I was. And
then not. This ache is empty like that.

Credit


Copyright © 2015 by Curtis Bauer. “Self Portrait in Dark Interior” originally appeared in Southern Indiana Review. Used with permission of the author.

Author


Curtis Bauer

Curtis Bauer is the author of two poetry collections: The Real Cause for Your Absence (C&R Press, 2013) and Fence Line (BkMk Press, 2004), winner of the 2003 John Ciardi Poetry Prize.

Date Published: 2018-01-24

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/self-portrait-dark-interior