My ex says he likes to ride on the top level
of the George Washington Bridge,
because then he’s closer to his Lord.
I say, but isn’t God immanent,
and he says, that’s true too, and I say,
well how can you be any closer then?
He enjoys the mystery of contradiction,
likes being lifted up, while I think the highest
level of the bridge is terrifying;
I act as though I am brave, because
I understand that it’s beautiful up here,
shockingly so, April pouring its gold
over the gathered Hudson,
but still I think of Rilke saying beauty’s
the beginning of a terror we can hardly bear.
My ex would say it’s the other way round,
terror the beginning of some radical beauty,
and he’s happy, while I drive the appalling,
crowded lane, and he looks out over the edges,
humming a little, entirely pleased.
— Mark Doty, author of Deep Lane
T. S. Poetry