I am alone

matisse: odalisque rouge

I am alone tonight
The wrong I have done you
sits like a sore beneath my thumb
burns like a boil on my heart’s left side
I am unwell
and here
like sunlight passing from a pattern of streets
I feel your bright love leaving
Another night
Today I am told dear friend by another
you seem happy and well
Nothing could hurt me more
How dare you be happy
you shaped so precisely for me
my cup and my mirror
How dare you disdain to betray
by some disarray of your hair
my being torn from you
As for me you are still the eyes of the air
I travel from point to point in your presence
Each unattended gesture hopes to catch your eye
I may not write again
My voice goes nowhere
dear friend
don’t let me heal
Don’t worry I am well
I am happy to dwell
in a world whose Hell I will
The doorway hints at your ghost
and a tiger pounces on my heart
The lilac bush is a devil
inviting me into your hair…

John Updike
(Health Report)

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