My transgressions pile against the garden wall
(built when Rome began to weaken, scarred
by a cannonball.) I gossiped; I snubbed
a dinner guest. I watch until the wall writhes
with awful feral cats fed by shrunken widows
and the odd librarian. I’ve begun to be depleted
by your absence; one of love’s worst symptoms.
For years, I’d had the sense to hold myself apart.
I’ve been here long enough to kill
two mint plants and a lavender,
then resurrect their better part.
I’d like to let you die on the vine.
Not you, the You I Dream,
who follows through on waking.
See how the watcher sees the storm
but doesn’t get wet. Be that.
Be wiser than the heart.
Source: Poetry (September 2013).