Don't doubt it when the core samples prove how pleasing it is to be woken by a baster's rain at dawn, cool grass wet with the benign. Your tormentors are yet to be born, or fell asleep a millennium ago. Your beauty is the beauty that does not dispense with struggles--it wears loafers the color of gun-metal, a face full of second thoughts, eyes you'd like to believe are supernatural. Agreed: aspiring to eyes of a color not found in nature is very lace-curtain Irish, and you do resemble one of Yeats' twilight boys, the walk cold from counting house to pub, the Easter Rising over--but the purpose of your days isn't simply to meet cute, it's to be changed. We inherit a marshalling yard full of dark freight, but the track switches work. How much of whomever you are after all is who you were when you were the stony theologian of Westport Harbor? Maybe in a quiet moment in the backyard today you'll look at a spray of tea roses leafing out and hear the rain inside them whenever a breeze blows. Don't let possibility go away in pain.
DAVID RIVARD is the author of five books of poetry, including Otherwise Elsewhere, Sugartown, and Wise Poison, winner of the James Laughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Among his recent awards is a fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria in 2012.
photograph by Jennifer Flescher