I am building a tiny wall around. I am building a low wall before,
And so. With little bricks. Little stones. Little taps and pushes.
My wall. And now it is done! Hurrah! I have finished with it,
Things. How sweet—how you can see over. You can see everything,
And yet. This side of the wall is called Us. That side of the wall
Is called You. I’m sorry, and I know that I built it, but here we are
Now and nothing to be done. I suppose. I suppose this means I
Don’t love you. I suppose this means what I knew it would mean
Long before I meant it. When I was only practicing, pretending
To lay the stones I had not yet pulled from bedrock, when I conceived.
Of world as wall. It’s so nice over here. You can’t see it, can you?
The shadow that falls lovely on my handiwork, or the slant of yellow
Light that filters? You can’t imagine anything from where you stand.
Too bad. The world I needed is gone. Or there is a new world. Or you
Were never here until now. Who are you? Just who are you? You!
Invader! Come upon me, my wall, with your faintly familiar face, hard.
Words. My wall is not high enough, perhaps. Oh, clever stranger.
Author Discusses Poems