“We should not have been bestowed
with the gift of thinking,” my friend once said.
I am in a state of uncertainty.
Last spring you said I had a gift.
Had you forgotten the fact
that I could not lay bricks like you?
Nor can I say, “hello” to every passing stranger.
See, right now, I am trying to take my head
in my hands, swivel it, and write a line or two
that may bring the best of you.
Is this my gift?
I eat without speaking, hunched over my plate
in a crowded restaurant.
I prefer solitude and cannot talk about weather
to the man who’s sitting next to me.
Unlike you I cannot smoke.
Not the clove cigarettes of all the things.
I think what I am doing is merely my job.
It is enough to crack my heart open.
On a soft October night we stayed up late,
drinking rum outside your house.
Do you remember that you said
you were happy for me, that I was a poet,
and it was a good thing? Were you drunk,
or had you been dreaming?
Now, as I am trying to bring you
the memories of the paper,
I marvel at what you had said,
And say to myself, “Is this my gift?”