artwork: ralph murre
The Husband Confesses
by CX Dillhunt
State Street, Early February
I confess, I have spent the afternoon
wandering from bookstore to bookstore.
I confess, I have fallen in love again
with dead poets, some of them women.
I confess, I am reading a poem while
walking down the street. It is cold.
I have lost my hat. I have no gloves on
because I cannot turn the pages if I do.
I jump from page to page, from book to
book. I have gotten some of them on sale.
I confess I do not know to whom I confess.
I confess I am now writing while walking.
I am not paying attention to time or manner
as I understand for a moment that the books
have forgotten they are books, that the street
has forgotten I am there as the words begin
to confess. They have lost their way, they
are guilty they say of these purchases.
They confess they saw me coming, are glad
To have an afternoon walk and wouldn’t
I walk more slowly, tell them why I love,
speak softly, remind them of anything,
tell them who wrote them, and confess one
more time to every passerby how I know
books love and how I have fallen again,
taken time for this walk as I make my last
confession: I can no longer feel these pages,
I do not know who is holding this open.
~ from Things I’ve Never Told Anyone (Parallel Press)