Love Poem Near the End of the World
This is the world I’m tethered to:
clouds, lavender-tinged, and below them
Everywhere various aspiration
of transcendence, like my fickle heart
wishing to redefine itself
as an instrument of hope and generosity,
and flower beds
with just enough rain water
to turn cracked soil into a vast blossoming.
Something keeps me holding on
to a future I didn’t think possible.
There’s sweetness and there’s squalor.
There are sad, almost empty towns
occasionally brightened by fireworks.
And there’s you, my love, once volcanic,
beautifully quiet now.
Excerpted from The Not Yet Fallen World: New and Selected Poems. Copyright (c) 2022 by Stephen Dunn. Used with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.