I read poems for the pleasure of the mouth.
And in “Affirmation,” the final poem in “The Painted Bed,” his collection dedicated to Ms. Kenyon, Mr. Hall catalogs life’s insults yet concludes:
If a new love carries us
past middle age, our wife will die
at her strongest and most beautiful.
New women come and go. All go.
The pretty lover who announces
that she is temporary
is temporary. The bold woman,
middle-aged against our old age,
sinks under an anxiety she cannot withstand.
Another friend of decades estranges himself
in words that pollute thirty years.
Let us stifle under mud at the pond’s edge
and affirm that it is fitting
and delicious to lose everything.
illustration from a Tarot deck I'm designing 2018