such sweetness in uncertainty, sincerity
Not to trouble you with love, I mean
those adolescent dreams of great, of greater,
or of greatest loving, let alone
the crumbly personal kind—compared with, say,
the public good or harder thoughts of death
obliterating thoughts of love, or after-
thoughts of love outgrown or love undone;
and not to be ironic either, not
to forget we come into the world alone
and leave it so; and not to be claiming more
than you can give, uncertain as I am
what I require: something like love, I guess,
whatever it is we’ve done without so long,
so faithfully and with such tenderness.
“Not To Trouble You” by Leonard Nathan, from Ragged Sonnets. © Orchises Press, 2008.