Today I went to Leverett for lunch;
I sat in the bright dining hall
The winter sun streaming through the windows
The loud chatter clouding my brain.
Nothing has changed since you were here—
I still see the tall twins walking around, and
My friend from that government class
You told me to take last spring.
Today you called me to tell me that you
Got into Princeton and that you
Are settling in and after I said I missed you
You said you missed me too.
Tonight I saw that boy you liked at dinner;
He doesn’t look back at me when I furtively
Turn my eyes to him.
Maybe I like him too, now.
Did he know who you are?
Does he know who you were?
No one around here but me
Seems to sing your song anymore.
Since you’ve been gone I’ve replaced you
With myself. Since the hero, my hero was
Forgotten, I inherited him,
I made myself your scion.
I like the people you liked
I kiss the people you kissed
I eat where you ate
I smoke what you smoked
But there is one tradition of our family
One offshoot of our genealogy
That I am not continuing.
I can’t love who you loved—
After loving you
I’ve never loved anyone again
Not because I didn’t want to
But because I couldn’t.