When One You Once Loved
When one you once loved needs a place to stay
and asks you, what are you supposed to say?
                     You’re powerless, of course,
whirled by the inner/outer cosmic force
of hopeless hope.     
                                  Then when they,
too lovely, linger past the third day,
when guests, like gods in tombs, should rise and go
(according to the Books of Manners)—
what can you, basking in the warmth and light
of heaven, which make your houseguest most wel-
come (till the swell, swelling, sweltering night,
when they, instead of cooling, scorch like hell)?
Tell them? But that you did, though years ago.
They must
                         they should
                                              they might
                                                                  already know.

James B. Nicola

If you have any comments on this poem, James B. Nicola would be pleased to hear from you.