Jack Gilbert
Tear It Down

We find out the heart only by dismantling what

the heart knows. By redefining the morning,

we find a morning that comes just after darkness.

We can break through the marriage into marriage.

By insisting on love, we spoil it, get beyond

affection and wade mouth-deep into love.

We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars.

But turning back toward childhood will not help.

The village is not better than Pittsburgh.

Only Pittsburgh is more than Pittsburgh. Rome

is better than Rome in the same way the sound

of raccoon tongues licking the inside walls

of the steel garbage tub is more than the stir

of them in the much of garbage. Passion is not

enough. We die and are put into the earth forever.

We must insist while there is time. Must eat

through the wildness of the sweet body already

in our bed to reach the body within that body.

Found In Volume , No. 01
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  • Jack Gilbert
Jack Gilbert
About the Author

Jack Gilbert was born in Pittsburgh in 1925. He is the author of Views of Jeopardy, the 1962 winner of the Yale Younger Poets prize; Monolithos, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; The Great Fires: Poems 1982-1992; and Refusing Heaven, winner of the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award. He died in November, 2012.