Today I wished without mercy
in the bloodless nations of the mind
that a city had gone down with you
as in a war fought —not
on foreign soil, but here
in the part of the country I can’t
do without. Then, if I wept for you
inexplicably, as I have
on street corners, I could say the name
of that city and ignite in the memories
of strangers a companion
sorrow. “Yes,” they would say, “Yes,
we know,” giving again that name
like a fountain
in some dusty village where the women pause,
dash water across their brows,
and pass on.