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After Disappointment by Mark Jarman

Dear M.,

Things are made and unmade. They make you go on a trip for thousands of miles, and they make you stay in a room all day, with regrets and what little else. I think what is important is that you ran out your door, and said, This is what I want. What I would give to stand at the doorstep of the one I love, pouring my heart out. But the ocean separating us is too wide, and I don’t have the courage. But you do. And someday it will not go unnoticed. I promise.


After Disappointment
Mark Jarman

To lie in your child’s bed when she is gone
Is calming as anything I know. To fall
Asleep, her books arranged above your head,
Is to admit that you have never been
So tired, so enchanted by the spell
Of your grown body. To feel small instead
Of blocking out the light, to feel alone,
Not knowing what you should or shouldn’t feel,
Is to find out, no matter what you’ve said
About the cramped escapes and obstacles
You plan and face and have to call the world,
That there remain these places, occupied
By children, yours if lucky, like the girl
Who finds you here and lies down by your side.

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