Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Moi Haissable by Frederick Pollack

I learn that I offended someone, that something
I said or wrote, some time ago, was deeply
insensitive, but at the time the person
affected said nothing.  Now I’m staying
a few days, far from home, with my unsuspected
victim, and the issue, never far
below the surface of the victim,
is ignited by something I say. 
I remember the incident, my original
statement, and with an effort
can see how someone could see it
that way, take it badly, but I don’t
see it that way.  Overreacting, oversensitive –
I force these thoughts about my victim,
but they’re not what’s important:
what matters is the vast sun
rising again, orange sun of a cold planet
on which I walk amid structures
that may be ruins, traces of other life,
but probably aren’t.  I walk there always
though for years at a time
I think I walk another planet, ours.
I don’t say this, of course, to the person
involved, who would only think it proved
my self-absorption, immaturity,
insensitivity, or rather, since they are proved,
that they are unmitigated.  Instead
I apologize.  I say I hadn’t
understood how my words could be taken amiss,
but now I do and am sorry.  And the rictus
of regret and humility tenses
my neck and the muscles of my cheeks
and eyes, though perhaps not quite reaching
the eyes, and I am forgiven.

I have often slept in the houses of enemies.

No comments:

Post a Comment