To be at someone’s mercy is dialectical damage. 
—Gillian Rose, Love’s Work
After my reading, on the night-gleaming street belonging 
to the drunk and belligerent, I a woman was 
left. The woman I loved turned her face away and then 
followed her nose up the steep cross-street, refusing angrily. 

Later, in the flourescent ferry-waiting room, she left again 
when I sat beside her. Nonetheless, I had to drive her 
home. Before she left again she sat on the side of my bed. 
After, there were phone calls across the continent 
while I grew sicker and sicker still. Then I refused. 
“Desperately” is an adverb accurate enough for two. 

That was in spring. Now, fall. Such damage, overall. 
I’ve used it, I find, to scale, rescind, un-limn, unleaf myself. 

A difficult transformation from limbed, finned, to indeterminate: 
something again embryonic, that dependent, skinned and inarticulate, 
in form a worm, a Daphne’s broken limb. . . . Where before I could swim 
(and always did, fiercely up), now I am at the mercy of the merciful 
tide’s doubling dream of Never-arrive when Arrive was ever the stream
I climbed, christened mine and home by something in my blood. 

Unable, now, my self to move, past agreeing with the scheme, 
in an ocean, I am a stream that was, that never wanted what it was: 
Good. So I have willed my unwilling, violently. Blood’s 
apology’s blood. My testament: to your No my Yes; 
to your Gone, my Left: through a glass oppositely. Busily. So. 

Still, the wish for congruency. For some other to come 
to know.