Mornings like this I awaken and wonder

How I have moved so far, how I have moved so little

And yet in essence stayed the same

Always passionate for the unattainable

For Joan Baez to make me her analyst,

To tour Ireland with Eddie and Finbar Furey

To be made a Chevalier des Palmes for translating Milosz.

I remember one road, many roads I did not take

And my heart lurches and my stomach turns

At the vertigo of mystery

At the simplicity of childhood

And its melancholy

At the silence of the moors

Beckoning, unreachable, tormenting me

As I lie helpless at the border of infirmity

With my soul burning and brimming over

With adolescent passion.

Only analysis with its symmetries and asymmetries

Exactness and paradox, scientific as Heisenberg’s

Principle of Uncertainty, yet various as the shades of Monet,

Eases me.

I think of those I have known and know no longer,

Who have died needlessly, disappeared irrevocably

Or changed beyond recognition.

I think of the bridge, river and streets

Of my Montmartre, gone under and made over

Into the grey utilities of trade, the empty road,

Sad as telegraph poles, my Sacrй Coeur silent and boarded up.

My Seine empty of the barges of Dйrain

My Sorbonne absorbed, its students gone

Mornings like this, I awaken and wonder.

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