Not Taking Meds
It is isn’t that I keep a diary for every day I miss–
especially those days in which I feel most acutely,
in order to circle back to “reasons” why I miss.
The “why” is always encircled by “reasons” anyway:
The depletion of serotonin;
The relationship abjured;
The sex declined again;
The power of an author, better skilled, to get “it” right;
The flaws of a will.
The words that bring you together
are often those tearing at you, dissembling, liars.
Not a poetics. Not a making. Not anything but — a narrative.
That is enough, a narrative, in a world full of never enoughs.
And so the swinging gate might crash in again —
A kind of violence that makes your voice less secure.
And you tremble before it.
And you might utter, “coward”;
and still you would be wrong.
Because at least there is the certainty in cowardice —
Insofar as certainty is cruel like optimism.
But hasn’t that kind of certainty cost lives?
Hasn’t that kind of optimism meant death?
And if love is the answer —
Baldwin said (right, Baldwin?) —
that love is a state of being, a presence, relational, a relation.
Baldwin the countersentimental, Baldwin the powerful.
But on day 12, or 17, of not taking meds —
You cannot imagine what loving relates or what Baldwin meant.
On those days, love is the calm interior of blue;
the coolness of a window pane.
Love is the texture of a book
and not the words of its prophet.