For the first time I understand
why some call despair a sin.

Not that I haven’t felt the terrible if.
Not that I haven’t thought

of walking into the woods and not
returning. The pistol shot. The cliff.

Despair is like the weather. It will
change. Or it will kill you.

I could not feel it again
unless, my love, I lost

proximity to you, whose mind
is like a lens

bringing the world closer
just as it is, and whose skin

is the sublime
measurement of time.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 42 Number 3, on page 33
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