“even in your genius narrow-minded”



Adrienne Rich
I have in my head some images of you:
your face turned awkwardly from the kiss of greeting
the sparkle of your eyes in the dark car, driving
your beautiful fingers reaching for
a glass of water.
Also your lip curling
at what displeases you, the sign of closure,
the fending-off, the clouding-over.
you’d say, is an unworthy name
for what we’re after.

What we’re after
is not that clear to me, if politics
is an unworthy name.

When language fails us, when we fail each other
there is no exorcism. The hurt continues. Yes, your scorn
turns up the jet of my anger. Yes, I find you
overweening, obsessed, and even in your genius
narrow-minded – I could list much more –
and absolute loyalty was never in my line
once having left it in my father’s house –
but as I go on sorting images of you
my hand trembles, and I try
to train it not to tremble.

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