One looks at me as from a distance.
Another does not cry; “It’s only pain,”
she says, as if cancer were just a nuisance
one looks at square, from a distance.
Outside the window, sunshine, like persistence.
Yet how Bach from the radio seems like rain.
She looks at me. From this great distance
I’m another who cannot cry. Or feel pain.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 36 Number 7, on page 25
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