I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. — Og Mandino

po_Feldman-AlanAlan Feldman, American poet, born March 16, 1945. Alan’s latest book is State College 101: The Story of a Freshman Writing Class. His work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, and The Kenyon Review, among many other magazines, and included in The Best American Poetry 2001. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation have awarded him fellowships in poetry.

 

 

A MAN AND A WOMAN
Alan Feldman

Between a man and a woman
The anger is greater, for each man would like to sleep
In the arms of each woman who would like to sleep
In the arms of each man, if she trusted him not to be
Schizophrenic, if he trusted her not to be
A hypochondriac, if she trusted him not to leave her
Too soon, if he trusted her not to hold him
Too long, and often women stare at the word men
As it lives in the word women, as if each woman
Carried a man inside her and a woe, and has
Crying fits that last for days, not like the crying
Of a man, which lasts a few seconds, and rips the throat
Like claw—but because the pain differs
Much as the shape of the body, the woman takes
The suffering of the man for selfishness, the man
The woman’s pain for helplessness, the woman’s lack of it
For hardness, the man’s tenderness for deception,
The woman’s lack of acceptance, an act of contempt
Which is really fear, the man’s fear for fickleness,
Yet cars come off the bridge in rivers of light
Each holding a man and a woman.