Names. Places. Families, stories, from news reports, fathers and daughters and mothers and sisters and wives. Husbands. Read. The A’s alone take up six screens.

There is a cure for love. It is absence. There is a cure

for grief. (It is absence.) I cannot say

you died, and I don’t want to live today.

I fed my child. I learned to drive a car.

I went to work. The baby is in bed.

This is a formula I used before.

(I ate a veal chop.) Word, word, word: the cure

for hard nights. Somebody was always dead,

but not, certainly, you. You rattled speed-

ing, seven-thirty, through the door.

awash with daffodils. Did I stay

up all night drawing the bowl of fruit? I did.

And then we went to bed and slept till four.

You kept the drawing when I went away.

–Marilyn Hacker, “Geographer”


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