Fast and flimsy sex and still not able to sleep, but she has fallen –
under the covers to the other world.
I move down the cold, dark passage where every move I make echoes twice.
I was reading about Thomas Wentworth Higginson, who prepared the first edition of Emily Dickinson’s poems in 1890. He wrote to his co-editor: “One poem only I dread a little to print – that wonder ‘Wild Nights,’ – lest the malignant read into it more than that virgin recluse ever dreamed of putting there. . . . Yet what a loss to omit it! Indeed it is not to be omitted.”
That comment made me look at the poem again and think about Emily – that virgin recluse – fantasizing in her room one night when she couldn’t sleep.
Wild Nights – Wild Nights! Were I with thee Wild Nights should be Our luxury!
Futile – the Winds – To a Heart in port – Done with the Compass – Done with the Chart!
Rowing in Eden – Ah, the Sea! Might I but moor – Tonight – With Thee!
We’re writing poems about the virus pandemic,
full of quarantine, social distancing, home sheltering,
sickness, and death in numbers so large
as to be incomprehensible – oh, for poems
not of a time but for time.