On Mistaking the Sound of Spurs for Bells Approaching

          By then, of course, they’d done plenty in the name
of recklessness — their word as well, though incorrect,
for wilderness. Ah, scutchweed, rushlightitude, if not,
why not, strowbegone, nor sheep, fa la, shall
          graze. The way, incredibly, for most it’s still enough
to have noticed a similar weather pattern between
regret and the windy plains of remorse, like that must
make them the same, or should, or at least no more
different than a fetish for being eaten alive and
whole is, apparently, from the desire to leave loneliness
          behind forever — a reasonable desire, I suppose, but
in the end a useless one, since actual loneliness isn’t
leavable: love distracts from loneliness, it doesn’t
crowd it from view    ...    some could almost see this,
eventually; others chose not to. Some — the luckiest — 
          arrived at, then clung to, that point in love where
to be understood entirely stops being the main thing,
or a thing at all, even. They could let the nights unfurl
before them, one after the other, each a seemingly
vast underworld of damage they didn’t have to talk about,
          not anymore, they agreed
it was there now, they hovered over it, what light there was
was their own.

More Poems by Carl Phillips