When you meet her for the first time,
you do not think of the last time
you will see her; you do not imagine
permanently parting in those heady days
of early infatuation.
When you meet him in the big park,
you envision many long walks
like this one with your friend,
snaking through the playground,
skirting the golf course, the zoo,
the fountain spilling its blessings
over three full pools.
You see everything as a good sign.
You imagine a long road ahead.
But you are not promised infinite days
of love or meetings or walks together.
She may anger and depart;
he may feel betrayed and flee.
One of you may die.
And you find yourself walking alone,
stunned, mystified, wondering.
You weep then—
wish you had done or not done,
said or not said, gone or not gone.
You cherish the beginnings,
curse the endings, struggle through
You forget how to transform
your wounds into art,
your pain into beauty,
until you do.