I liked Hell,
I liked to go there alone
relieved to lie in the wreckage, ruined, physically undone.
The worst had happened. What else could hurt me then?
I thought it was the worst, thought nothing worse could come.
Then nothing did, and no one.
When I walked across a room I saw myself walking
As if I were someone else,
when I picked up a fork, when I pulled off a dress,
as if I were in a movie.
It’s what I thought you saw when you looked at me.
So when I looked at you I didn’t see you
I saw the me I thought you saw, as if I were someone else.
I called that outside – watching. Well I didn’t call it anything
when it happened all the time.
But one morning after I stopped the pills – standing in the kitchen
for one second I was inside looking out
then I popped back outside. And saw myself looking.
Would it happen again? It did, a few days later,
Wendy was pulling on her winter coat standing by the kitchen door
And suddenly I was inside and I saw her
I looked out from my own eyes
and I saw her eyes blue gray transparent
and inside them – Wendy herself!
Then I was outside again.
and Wendy was saying Bye Bye, see you soon,
as if Nothing had Happened.
She hadn’t noticed. She hadn’t known that I’d Been There
For Maybe 40 Seconds,
and that then I was Gone.
She hadn’t noticed that I Hadn’t Been There for months,
years, the entire time she’d known me.
I needn’t have been embarrassed to have been there for those seconds,
she had not Noticed the Difference.
This happened on and off for weeks,
and then I was looking at my old friend John—
suddenly I was in and I saw him,
and he (and this was almost unbearable)
he saw me see him,
and I saw him see me.
He said something like, You’re going to be ok now,
Or, It’s been difficult hasn’t it,
but what he said mattered only a little.
We met -- in our mutual gaze --in between
a third place I’d not yet been.