"Not Easy"

Venice, 1958 by Gianni Berengo Gardin

Not Easy:

(If I titled this poem the name of your band it would be too obvious)

I want you to be

loved. I want you

to be loved

the way you loved

me. Loved like

I love you now

but I can’t tell you and it can’t be


The one and only one who--well I just I don’t think you’d be very--well, there’s just no calling anymore to say hello, let alone... These days my voice would be a stone on your boat. So the phone,

I put it down. Loving you now can’t make a sound.

(Barely a poem.)

Loving you now: I can’t even remember what I said the last I saw you,

I don’t even remember

how we said goodbye.

The last you

I remember

I saw through

a window.

I was outside

beaming proud I was

that they’d come

my friends

all the way to Jersey

just to say goodbye to me. Send me off. Bon

Voyage. Hip hip hooray

My going away party.

They there

meant so much more

because no one ever came

west from the big city.

More than

you always came

every time and every distance always

just because

I remember us

two at the four-top.

Our first date.

I was seventeen

when I felt, then, that love

was like the movies


and just as easy.

And when you loved me,

it was confirmed.

(Maybe) that’s why

I ended it. Movies end. If my life can’t be

one long

action adventure romantic comedy then

I’m ending it. I was twenty-one.

There’s no forgetting crying like that

lying with you in the little bed

in the little room white and blue

with the doorway I was born right in your mom’s house.

You said

not yet stay.

I said okay.

We wallowed in sadness

until I couldn’t

take it anymore.

I got up. You reached

for me.

I left.


the party was

four years later.

I was twenty-five

saying farewell to

a yardful of


before taking

off on

my next action adventure romantic tragedy.

Four years

we were “friends.”

We each had our reasons to pretend.

I needed

you for comfort stability a gift (you were)

the cake I didn’t eat


you’d say yes to


You hoped

I’d come back around.

It could be like it was.

It could be love again. I could come back to you.

We never actually said it but--well,

It didn’t matter how

wrong--I knew

I couldn’t stop.

I needed

those things you

gave me! and


made it so easy.

You hoped I’d come back.

I went

only further

until I went furthest just before I left.

I was outside

that window. You were right there.

The kitchen! of all places

I was laughing happy

they came for me!

Forty minutes

out of the apple

core of the universe

What magnanimity!

to say goodbye.