Who Does What to Whom

These questions of who does what
            are of little import now—
the facts are we continued to have a great public life
            but our private one began suffering
                        & you had the courage to leave.
Why the top floor of trust wasn't fully constructed
            after seven years
                        no longer needs answer.
Who was more stubborn about what,
            who was sufficiently expressive, sufficiently kind,
                        patient joyful spontaneous, future-oriented in the present—
who withdrew too easily & often, snapped too quickly,
            raised voices in harsh tones, grew silent to punish—
                        many interpretations can now remain open.
You about whom I would never utter
            even the slightest negative estimation
                        had the courage to move first
and tonight the moon is three-quarters full & low
            in the sky, ready to be nuked out of its magical
                        realist existence at a moment's notice.
Like your green velvet hat trying to communicate
            to my blue and yellow plaid scarf—sometimes patterns,
                        that should keep adding up, don't.
It is a new year. Throughout the globe are boiling new wars,
            deathsquad skeletal remains, missile-launched putsches,
                        nuclear brain tumors, corporate-designed electroshocks,
frozen homeless limbs, buzzsaw eco-murders,
            neo-fascist soldier rapes, televised infanticides,
                        poked eyes flying past 10,000 stations—
& you and I: Now from separate rooms & separate streets
                                                            we will both speak up.

Eliot Katz 1994