Kenneth Fearing

(1902 - 1961 / Illinois / United States)

Love 20¢ The First Quarter Mile


All right. I may have lied to you and about you, and made a few
pronouncements a bit too sweeping, perhaps, and possibly forgotten
to tag the bases here or there,
And damned your extravagence, and maligned your tastes, and libeled
your relatives, and slandered a few of your friends,
O.K.,
Nevertheless, come back.

Come home. I will agree to forget the statements that you issued so
copiously to the neighbors and the press,
And you will forget that figment of your imagination, the blonde from Detroit;
I will agree that your lady friend who lives above us is not crazy, bats,
nutty as they come, but on the contrary rather bright,
And you will concede that poor old Steinberg is neither a drunk, nor
a swindler, but simply a guy, on the eccentric side, trying to get along.
(Are you listening, you bitch, and have you got this straight?)

Because I forgive you, yes, for everything.
I forgive you for being beautiful and generous and wise,
I forgive you, to put it simply, for being alive, and pardon you, in short, for being you.

Because tonight you are in my hair and eyes,
And every street light that our taxi passes shows me you again, still you,
And because tonight all other nights are black, all other hours are cold
and far away, and now, this minute, the stars are very near and bright

Come back. We will have a celebration to end all celebrations.
We will invite the undertaker who lives beneath us, and a couple of
boys from the office, and some other friends.
And Steinberg, who is off the wagon, and that insane woman who lives
upstairs, and a few reporters, if anything should break.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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