Love, here we stand at the beginning
of our life together, and I find myself
thinking of a hot summer night
in my seventeenth year, when I lay
alone in a strange room, in a dormitory bed
for the first time in my life, too scared
to rise, too thrilled to sleep. The dark
screamed out “The Night Chicago Died,”
and indeed it was as if something had died
and something were being born. In other rooms,
I knew, the boys and girls I’d met that day
were doing things that were a mystery
to me; I felt apart from them —and yet,
that night, a part of all they were.
For though I recognized I’d never really
be one of them, and wasn’t yet aware
I wasn’t quite the boy my parents knew,
it was as if that night I realized,
somewhere deep within, that I’d discover
myself in much the way a geometry student
swings a compass from one place, then another,
to find a unique point.