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Law library

“Success is counted sweetest
  By those who ne’er succeed.
  To comprehend a nectar
  Requires sorest need.”
    ~ Emily Dickenson

Once I’d applied and paid for after-hours access
I was relieved to spend no more afternoons here
Since not one went by
Without a hushed conversation between two women
One seated at the front desk
The other leaning across from the opposite side
So that of the rest in quiet study
Only I with the canine hearing
Bequeathed on me during my childhood encounter
With some probably misguided interstellar wanderers
Discerned the deep tension and the reasons
The intimidation
The violence
Always drawing my eye to sneak a glance
Always a different woman seeking direction
And always my stunned confusion at such
Sorrow in such
Clean white intelligent strikingly gorgeous femininity
That had I been so fortunate as to have known
The dreamy intimacy and thrill
Of any of those relationships
That ended with a form completed at this desk
In low tones
For drop-off at the clerk’s office upstairs
How I would’ve cherished every hour of it
At least those hours not wasted here
Overhearing death of broken dreams
Like mine
As I too have my dear companions
Compelling my own set of forms for the clerk
Though at least not by my conscious choice
As to with whom I’d be conjoined
In advance
Why sneak a glance
When the only problem
Her blackened eye looking through me couldn’t have seen
Is a man who rather would’ve admired her
Than leave her nothing but an unkind impression
As far as she knew
May as well not exist

My after-hours arrival
At the now quiet stacks
Brings an old familiar feeling
Who could this be
Not the desirable women who’ve poured their frustrations
Across this desk
But that someone lending a sympathetic ear
From the chair on the other side
She’s listened to me too
Looking not through me
But meeting my eyes
Awake to struggle
Always remembering my case
In more detail than those of my own blood
Who’ve heard my rage each Sunday
To forget what I’ve said by the following week
She who’s heard so much misery from so many
Has responded with neither vacancy nor bruises
In this slumbering world
Could there be two kinds of people
The dreamy
Who attract
Violence and cruelty enough to perchance shake them from their dreams
And the sad
Who are alert
To hardly help
But feel compassion
And what’s more appreciation
If I’ve known violence too
But not for years now
Is the universe letting me off the hook
For awakening
She’s told me of no law
Instead taught me much of what I know
As I find my way around the books I need
And email myself case materials
Cal and Cal App and Deering’s
Yes I miss her
But how much
As I sense more than just her presence
Never truly missing
A spirit
Pervading this carpeted space
Even in her physical absence
What could this be
In this professional world
None dare call it love

Thanks always returns

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