Stele

by John Koethe | January 13, 2011

I love the past tense, but you can’t live there.
I love the stories you believe add up to you,
Though they never do. I love the way
The rhythms and the tenses and the words
Add up to nothing, or to a diversion, or to this:
I know this place, and even think it’s true
If places can be true), but what does it say?
That if I wake I’ll wake up into it, and then go on?
Or is it just a state of mind, a place to linger in
Or stay, whose seeming is the whole of its reality?
I was born to indecision: I follow thoughts
Wherever they lead, and dreams until it’s clear
They won’t come true. I live in my imagination
Most of the time, biding what’s left of my time
And waiting for no one in particular to come—
Waiting for an ending endlessly deferred,
When you (the reader of my life) and I are one.

This poem ran in the February 3, 2011, issue of the magazine.

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//article/books-and-arts/magazine/81392/stele-john-koethe