I have letters Wallace left here over thirty years ago
that were written by some ladies that I doubt I’ll ever know.
The years pass by like distance, and the dust upon them grows
but I cannot I give them up. Will I ever? I dunno.
I haven’t seen him since one sunny Summer in the park
where we passed on the same passage while both crossing round the arc
of the reservoir at eighty sixth and neither did remark
or acknowledge one another, p’raps for fear of bite or bark.
We had left things on terms that were somewhat less than fair
and when he’d moved out he left more than socks and underwear
including, I found, memories, I was unprepared to bear
except on unaware dates where I thought, I’d dare. I’d err.
I think about the me today, and how I would contrast
with that ego-baiting asshole ‘cross that time-divide so vast.
I wonder if, in seeing me now, Wallace’d be as fast
to rise to the same anger we both found thirty years passed.
These questions have no answers, or none I’d dare to get,
for in asking them out loud you’ll find a quarked-up cat, I’ll bet.
By wanting absolution, I’m not ready for it, yet.
But if you meet a Wallace, wish him well.
I’m in your debt.