You used to come nightly, kick off your heels,
hum in my ear—how my atoms purred
from the way that you laugh when you’re cheating at Scrabble!

I know, our deal: no questions asked,
no fits if you lurch in from partying
with whole translation committees. Sure,
no one’s about to love you tame,

but look—how abject can I get?
— the study’s dusted, quiet, I’ve set
cornflowers on the desk, our favorite
pad and pen … whatever helps.

Did you just get too damn lonesome for
Tangier, or Massachusetts snow?
No, tell, tell …
is there someone else?

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 14 Number 4, on page 33
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https://newcriterion.com//issues/1995/12/worrying-the-muse