Those whom I love have gone
And I remain, like a sword, alone.
Gone, yes, or going, determination hardens
Into a self-destructive stubbornness.
What melody will resonate its presence
If you play the same old self-reflective chord alone?
Someone who wrote, “Never to lose you again,”
Moved, sent no message with a new address
And in that memory there is a mountain,
Above it, a reddish hawk that swooped and soared alone.
Who held a sword and said that he resembled
A sword, in his solitude was nothing less.
Between the old man and the steely angel,
A sleep-drunk intern holding down the ward alone.
The word-root’s there, you look into the branches’
cadence and contexts you can only guess.
Translating from a slow-emerging language
Resembles dialogue, and I’m less bored, alone.
Though it’s a doubled blade to be a weapon
And turn yourself onto your own distress.
Silent among her servants, Balqis riding
Back toward her queendom praised the Lord alone.
If the beloved asked, what would you wish of me?
That without my asking, you would answer “Yes”.
The glass of wine not offered to the stranger,
The nightly second glass of wine I poured alone.
– Marilyn Hacker. Fugue on a line of Amr bin M’ad Yakrib