TO MYSELF

Even when I forget you
I go on looking for you
I believe I would know you
I keep remembering you
sometimes long ago but then
other times I am sure you
were here a moment before
and the air is still alive
around where you were and I
think then I can recognize
you who are always the same
who pretend to be time but
you are not time and who speak
in the words but you are not
what they say you who are not
lost when I do not find you.

TO THE HAPPY FEW

Do you know who you are

O you forever listed
under some other heading
when you are listed at all

you whose addresses
when you have them
are never sold except
for another reason
something else that is
supposed to identify you

who carry no card
stating that you are —
what would it say you were
to someone turning it over
looking perhaps for
a date or for
anything to go buy

you with no secret handshake
no proof of membership
o way to prove such a thing
even to yourselves

you without a word
of explanation
and only yourselves
as evidence.

  — W.S. Merwin (b. 1927), American poet and translator.