I pine. There is an obstacle to our love.
Every time I hear the post man, I think: At last, the letter!
He has overcome the obstacle—
(It is a large obstacle, an actual alp, with a tree line and sheer rock face
streaked with snow even in July)
for love of me! For three years, nine decades, and one century or so, there
has been no letter. I still wait for the letter.
But lately I wonder if my predicament is outside the human,
neither noble nor farcical; if my heart courts pain
because it aims for immortality, something grander
than I can imagine. Most of what I imagine,
what I want, is small: Hands with mine in the sink, washing dishes,
the smell of wool, feet tangling with mine in bed. I know
the gods punish the proud, but I do not yet know
why they punish the humble. Although after all
it is not humble to ask, every minute or so, for happiness.
April Bernard, “Romance”