A Valediction Forbidding Mourning
By Adrienne Rich
My swirling wants.  Your frozen lips. 
The grammar turned and attacked me. 
Themes, written under duress. 
Emptiness of the nations. 

They gave me a drug that slowed the healing of wounds. 

I want you to see this before I leave: 
the experience of repetition as death 
the failure of criticism to locate the pain 
the poster in the bus that said: 
my bleeding is under control. 

A red plant in a cemetery of plastic wreaths. 

A last attempt: the language is a dialect called metaphor. 
These images go unglossed: hair, glacier, flashlight. 
when I think of a landscape I am thinking of a time. 
When I talk of taking a trip I mean forever. 
I could say: those mountains have a meaning 
but further than that I could not say. 

To do something very common, in my own way. 


 Excerpt from Andeienne Rich's Poetry and Prose, a Norton Critical Edition
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