English Literature » Adrienne Rich » Twenty-One Love Poems XX

Twenty-One Love Poems XX by

That conversation we were
always on the edge of having,
runs on in my head.
At night the Hudson trembles
in New Jersey light.
polluted water yet reflecting,
even sometimes, the moon
and I discern a woman I loved.
Drowning in secrets,
fear wound round her throat
and choking her like hair.
And this is she with whom I tried to speak,
whose hurt, expressive head
turning aside from pain,
is dragged down deeper
where it cannot hear me,
and soon I shall know I was talking to my own soul.

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