Where Is It Now


The heart of my life was spent on it—

that was my life! And where is it, now,

as this train goes down the mountain for an hour,

six years after divorce,

all that sex, it must be somewhere,

maybe among these wild grasses near the

tracks, or near plants in the sea which drink

salt like milk, as if the scenes of

impermanent love could be stored in tidepools’

gardens, where a mountain steps down into

the sea, then down into the ocean trench, until it

touches the spherical mountain which is

the mantle of the globe. Where seeds fly without

catching or taking, until they turn

to fray—maybe where the children who die before

birth live, or the creatures who die before

conception. Maybe the love made, within a

love that was not lasting, moves in

huge discs of dust beyond our

solar system, but I think not,

I think those kisses, and little gasps, those

sighs and long samurai strokes,

and breast-tips leapt to hardness like sudden

horns on the brow of a milk-fed goat—

I feel it is all nearby, in the hair of the

woods this train now passes, and it lines

roadsides, I can hear the insects singing

in the nerves of the meadow, the made love of a

life is the inner logic of a life,

the home fragrance.

Sharon Olds teaches in the graduate program in creative writing at NYU.

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