Today's poem is by Susanne Kort


          to A. Brookner

What he wants, it appears,
is roughly the same as what she wants: an affaire du coeur
lived entirely on the surface: walkawayable from

in a pinch, yet intense. Hence
they circle round, sort of sniffing, to ascertain
what the limits might be of the thing, the degree

to which what could be pushed
in extremis, their mutual chimera, assuming they even agree
upon this: extending it out to some margins they doubtless have

to negotiate, someday soon. Beginning
is the conundrum: whose hand
will stand up & commit itself

to outright meandering; what if halfway through
the commencement you concluded it was done;
or conventual scruples kicked in

& one started to think about purity, parity; how inconvenient they
might become — he with his thorny crown, & she
with her noumenal fever —: the cronicity,

the perennial ungaugeables that might turn out
to obtain, as in any similar
situation; hardest of all is deciding

if anything less than it all is enough.

Copyright © 2003 Susanne Kort All rights reserved
from Northwest Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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