To a Reader

by Emily

Robert Hass

I’ve watched memory wound you.
I felt nothing but envy.
Having slept in wet meadows,
I was not through desiring.
Imagine January and the beach,
a bleached sky, gulls. And
Look seaward: what is not there
is there, isn’t it, the huge
bird of the first light
arched above first waters
beyond our touching or intention
or the reasonable shore.

A line from one of his other poems sums this up beautifully and succinctly, “Longing, we say, because desire is full / of endless distances.

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