This is the use of memory: / For liberation—not less of love but expanding / Of love beyond desire, and so liberation / From the future as well as the past.
—T. S. Eliot (from “Little Gidding”)
Who talks about almost or anything caught in a cleft of darkness—the deads’ breath at the back of our necks? Whose voice do you almost hear when there’s nothing to say? The rain, rattle-fisted (then) suddenly gone reminds us that nothing is permanent. The gazebo in my garden begins to fall—squirrels have chewed through the screens, the roof is thin—something else to keep or let go. After so many years, I imagine its empty space and the wind that will blow through. This is the place where Eliot’s rose garden meets the end of the world. I live as if saving my life is the one thing I was made to do.
Adele Kenny, author of 25 books (poetry and nonfiction), is a former creative writing professor, founding director of the Carriage House Poetry Series, and poetry editor of Tiferet Journal. Among other awards, she has received poetry fellowships from the NJ State Arts Council and Kean University’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Her book A Lightness, A Thirst, or Nothing at All was a 2016 Paterson Prize Finalist.