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