Falling asleep finally, after reading Neruda,
I slowly trace invaluable and impractical steps
that divide time, active and spent, into drawers.
His cantos help serenade what we call love,
itself often left unrequited and ignored,
weighed down by countless disappointments.
After reading, sleeping, waking and
re-reading, re-sleeping, I gather inertia
and understand the reasons for writing it all down.
Wistful, furrowed pen strokes outline on paper,
memory that is stripped of pride, pained with time,
unruly and soggy and wet and warped.
New actions start to replace past steps taken;
my own new rhythms and stanzas, Chilean even,
help distract from the pain of renewal.
Without these past remembrances, though stinging,
the lack of ache of past pains nags like an unfed dog
biting hard and defeated, at frayed pant legs.
Relief is barren, rising and falling with tide,
smoothing failures, filling fissures with salt and
weakened stitches that never satisfy fully.