On the death of Mary Oliver,
after reading Our World

(Jan 2019)


Mary Oliver died and I looked her up and found yet another woman
who lived a life with another woman, loving and loved, and I never knew.
I didn’t need to know. I’d never met her. I’ll never meet her.
Still, I think about the beautiful mystery of people,
the universes and abysses they contain, each so tender and personal,
holding awestruck moments shared with no one at all but themselves,
and I feel envy. I think of the love between people,
forty years home and learning each other’s patterns—
forty years!—a conversation they couldn’t wait to keep having.
Two women in love, in a time when people still think it’s impossible 
for two women to be in love. Two lifetimes together, they lasted.
There’s a languid stretch of future with the people I have chosen to love.
I look forward to never tiring of them. I look forward 
to bringing forth a whistle, to their surprise.
Perhaps best of all, I’m excited to learn the ways they will surprise me in return.