The trick was to give yourself only to what
could not receive what you had to give,
leaving you as you wished, free.
Still you court the world by enacting yet once
more the ecstatic rituals of enthrallment.
You cannot rest. The great grounding
events in your life (weight lodged past
change, like the sweetest, most fantastical myth
enshrining yet enslaving promise), the great
grounding events that left you so changed
you cannot conceive your face without their
happening, happened when someone
could receive. Just as she once did, he didpast
judgment of pain or cost. Could receive. Did.
Frank Bidart's new book, Watching the Spring Festival, is out in April 2008 from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. In 2007 he won the Bollingen Prize for American Poetry.