Will you come with me to the mountains? It will hurt at first, until your feet are hardened. Reality is harsh to the feet of shadows. But will you come?
Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
to the end just to find out who killed the cook, not
the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication, not
the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
the one you beat to the punch line, the door or the one
who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
that crimped your toes, don’t regret those.
Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
Emptied of expectation.
Relax. Don’t bother remembering any of it. Let’s stop here,
under the lit sign on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.
Stir and shiver
The reeds and rushes
By the river:
As if in dream,
The lone moon’s silver
Sleeks the stream.
What old sorrow,
What lost love,
Moon, reeds, rushes,
Dream you of?
Anemone and columbine
Where gloom has lain
Opened in gardens
Between love and disdain
Made somber by the sun
Our shadows meet
Until the sun
Is squandered by night
Gods of living water
Let down their hair
And now you must follow
A craving for shadows
— Guillaume Apollinaire, “Clotilde”
The pure and simple truth is rarely pure, and never simple.