Tear It Down
We find out the heart only by dismantling what the heart knows. By redefining the morning, we find a morning that comes just after darkness. We can break through marriage into marriage. By insisting on love we spoil it, get beyond affection and wade mouth-deep into love. We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars. But going back toward childhood will not help. The village is not better than Pittsburgh. Only Pittsburgh is more than Pittsburgh. Rome is better than Rome in the same way the sound of racoon tongues licking the inside walls of the garbage tub is more than the stir of them in the muck of the garbage. Love is not enough. We die and are put into the earth forever. We should insist while there is still time. We must eat through the wildness of her sweet body already in our bed to reach the body within the body.
Copyright © 2001 Jack Gilbert. From The Great Fires: Poems 1982-1992, 2001, Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted with permission.
The author of several collections of poetry, Jack Gilbert has been awarded a Lannan Literary Award for Poetry and the National Book Critics Circle Award
Date Published: 2001-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/tear-it-down