D. B. Ruderman
Wrong Etymology
when it seemed to me that we were breaking up
I read philosophy all day

words like branches of a tree
seen through a skylight I can no longer afford

can you love someone and make a choice to leave
is it ever acceptable to cut
the body – cut
one thing from another

after all
there is life and blood

perhaps because I am poisoned by poetry—perhaps because the poem can use the field as a metaphor for one thing and then another—suddenly I was speaking / crying and speaking—suddenly she was wounded / I was the one who wounded her / I didn’t wound her—purposely I was speaking / I was not crying on purpose.

when the book came in the mail it was only separate pages
like useless and lifeless leaves on a tree


I read philosophy all day

what I read connected with everything / except
what I needed to know / except
how to cut and suffer / suffer and cut

“a failure in his capacity for perception”

is it ever better to incorporate
loss / watering the money tree / swallowing
language/ economic metaphors for one
intimate moment and then another

after all
there is blood and life

perhaps because my kids are growing up—perhaps because I’m surrounded by all these feelings I must not think—suddenly I was quiet / quiet and crying—suddenly we were in New York / I was with my mother / she is not my mother—angrily both women walked / these feelings we must not think

what I share with my books is the need to fill up the world with language an insatiable need not to know