I take the afternoon off and walk home,
my schoolbag heavy with books of German grammar
in this thin March heat; through the slant-shadowed town
the early afternoon; the bar doors swinging open
with fermented perfume of alcohol and detergent;
Spanish students with their notebooks, chewing gum.
Everything will carry on. I didn’t mean to disappoint.
I have tried to make space for everyone
who has ever done as much for me;
I have tried. Now I forget what it was
that I wanted, or if I ever wanted a thing.
All the other lives I could have led, even until now
and all the choices I made wrongly: take them, if you love me
more than possibilities; if you know I have no better versions
and that I will go on to disappoint you.
We are as fixed in ourselves as grammar
our tenses, genders, our irregularities
mapped out with perfect accuracy.
We were complete from birth. You gave me everything
I cannot change: this town, these dictionaries, this flawed
genetic instrument of mine. Still, March falls into April
and everything carries on and soon this will not matter.
Even I will learn sometime. I will.