Let me walk in the dimmest forest without you,
unstringing the lights that you left on the pole.
Let me do this without wavering
and without making excuses
for the fact that I didn’t want to do it when it was dark.
And let me wear my best clothes when I’m doing this
so that people know that I wasn’t upset.
Let them think that when I put the lights in a different place,
a boardroom of people I happened upon made noises.
And then retreated, I think,
to a place they knew where it was no longer possible to discuss their
But where it was possible nonetheless to enjoy themselves
and to marry the sanctimony of their lawful tears
in one way or another, perhaps,
to the bulb that departed from the lasting socket of their shame.
Lee Stern, Los Angeles, CA, USA