On Diminishment
Joanna Klink

If too much has
happened to you,
whom do you tell?

It is costly
to love without
giving over to love.

It is costly
to look too much
after yourself.

I was no more than
bones, cloud – I was only

rain floating. Some days
more stone than road.

Some days the high white
flash of a fountain.

I was only a country,
a body folding nightly

into its tides. I could not
expect anything.

I was wood
without knowing.

It is possible to love
without purpose.

It is possible to walk
far into another
and find only

yourself. If there is a right
action of the throat,

it is to say: I tried,
I stayed a long time there.

You can let the whole
of those years go un-

answered. The stairwell,

the porch swing, the reading
chair where I’d greet you,

looking away, as if my
arriving and leaving

were never really
part of the pleasure.

The most fragile thought
can live inside you for months,
and you carry on

as if it weren’t real.
You can speed up so fast

you can’t even hear
the ruin in the bell,

the slip of pain inside
trust, the ownerless
nothingness you have now

come to share with
someone you
once found so good.

Photo by Veronika Syniavska on Unsplash

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