Text of the Poem

(Poetry for Students)

“And do we remember our living lives?”
Did I remember the clock or the door,
or the words “I love you” or the word “why”;
did he recall the blue vein in my wrist
or only the ice-blue burn in my eye? 5

What remained of the room and of the night,
the kiss or the argument that ensued?
“You see, our memories are much like yours,
here a shadow, a sound, a shred, a wisp . . .”
“And do we want to remember?” one said. 10

Never never Oh give me the blurred wish
or the dream or the fact half-forgotten,
the leaf in the book but not the read page,
not what I saw but what I felt I saw,
not what I felt but how I wished to feel,

give me what I can bear to know I felt.”
I choose to recall only the blue dusk.
“Do you think you choose? If only you could
determine your secret determinants.”
Did I recall the cocktail as it smashed 20

against the wall there, so close to my eye,
did I forget why I left my home, why?
The full events of that terrible time
dissolving into the deep hues of dusk
and leaving essence to the inner eye. 25