You found me at the worst possible time,
but only in the sense in which a dog-walker finds
a corpse in the woods:
It wasn’t your fault.
The words in this verse are replacing
the excuses I’d prepared for presentation:
words about falling, & nihilism &
other self-pitying bullshit trying
to play tragic…
but the truth
is never quite so ornate
as I’d like to make it…
I told you that I’d become a mistake.
But that doesn’t make it ok…
I remember you as
vulnerable insolence &
timorous intelligence but
I was too selfish to realise how
much attention you gave to my words &
how little you understood about my
compelled me to write a poem across
the inside of your left thigh
& I think
you found it charming.
That poem had been written for someone else…
Attention is the rarest & purest
form of generosity*: you
gave it to me
& what did I
give back to you?
it wasn’t that I didn’t care
it was just that I hated everything…
is an attempt to apologise
for the ugliness
by replacing it
with a failed attempt at elegance.
& that still doesn’t make it ok…
* Simone Weil