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“Dream Song 117” by John Berryman (1914 – 1972)
Disturbed, when Henry’s love returned with a hubby,—
I see that, Henry, I don’t put that down,—
he thought he had to think
or with a razor like a skating-rink
have more to say or more to them downtown
in the Christmas season, like a hobby.
Their letters will, released, shake the mapped world
at some point, in the National Geographic.
(Friend, that hurt.)
It’s horrible how near she was my hurt
in the old days—now she’s a lawyer twirled
halfway around her finger
and I am elated & vague for love of her
and she is chilly & lost for love of me
and we are for each other
that which needs which, corresponding to Henry’s mother
but which can not have, like the lifting sea
over each other’s fur.