Seven Months Later

We are standing in the half-light

of an everyday room—

maybe a hallway to a kitchen—

and I am telling you about some large-scale

sadness; a war, the diminished lives

of an oppressed people.

You smile

the smile of someone who knows he knows

something you don't know,

but who loves you

and does not lord it over you.

You're going to kill yourself.

And there is that terrible moment

poised on the head of a pin,

when I know, out of love, out of respect—

out of powerlessness—the-room-inside-


that separates all of us,

I will let you.

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