For Taylor

None of us clapped
after he read
and I wonder if Rebecca
is the bridge he still can’t burn
which is to say,
if he was there, could he,
would she have allowed him to, be her knight
in shattered armor?

He offered no thanks
after finishing,
like lost gratitude
upon someone waking him
from a most terrible nightmare.

He stood silent before us,
almost like he regretted
that 10-year line,
almost like he was the one
who opened the window,
sent her flailing to death’s kiss.

But speculation,
and even hindsight,
are broken mirrors
giving vision only to that which
is possible but can never be.

Author’s Note: Yesterday, I went to see Taylor Mali read. This is my response to one of his poems, AN ENTIRE ACT OF SORROW. The “knight is shattered armor” line is his.

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