Inflicted

I’m interested in those one or two
who stopped writing poetry because
of the oldest kind of loss
they felt they were given
to make new in themselves,
which, for them, was the world that wrapped itself
around this one, the poets who had always
accepted that beauty was the voice
that required a voice. Think of the ancient Celt
warrior whose armour was recitation. Their fight
was against loss, and for it; a spy welcomed
as an ally. Unlike novelists, poets aren’t curious
about endings, just questions as to how to continue
locating the next stepping stone,
after the newest break. They remember, then, its footfall
never once gained purchase with paper, and now somehow
can’t manage to read the wordlessness of
the heart, or the mind, or the soul
or whichever word he holds in himself
by hiding it there, like a self-inflicted wound,
and the love for it.

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