Now I have days I never think of you
just as my shrink predicted. Milestones pass,
the eighth month anniversary, the next,
disappearing like thunderheads across the gulf.
But your presences, love, center my feet
this morning, running again around the block.
Now you are a monotonousness of grace-
light under my steps, the unseen seen,
leading me, winded, back to our own house.
You’re there, you’re here, you are this sacrament
only the grieving know, together with the grieved.
Which one of us is writing this? Me? You?
Why, both, of course, inspired by the light
when dawn throws down its crowns, the blinding luminous,
shaping the fractured world into unbrokenness—
Peter Cooley is professor emeritus at Tulane University, where he was director of creative writing from 1975 to 2018. His eleventh book, The One Certain Thing, which includes the poem printed here, will be published by Carnegie Mellon in 2021.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.