ETHICS

CK WILLIAMS

Much of what I wish for myself is patently unattainable,
yet it might be my most sincere and abiding desire-
that I live without contrivance, scheming or forethought.

By contrivance and scheming, I mean trying to be other
than I am; without forethought is wanting to live
impulsively, artlessly, with no intervention of will.

I want to act not because I’ve coerced myself to,
but because I’ll have responded from the part of myself
that precedes will, residing in intrinsic not projected virtue.

I have no wish to be good, or pure-inconceivable that-
but I wish not to have to consider who I am or might be
before I project myself into quandaries or conflicts.

All this that I crave, which I know my craving impedes,
the absurdity of which might diminish further who I am
and what I stand for, if that’s the term, to myself-

(can one stand for something to oneself? can one not?)-
I’ve never found a shred of evidence for in myself,
yet I observe it constantly, every day, in Catherine;

some large portion of my esteem for her surely consists
of my gratitude for her implausible generosity,
which permits someone like me to partake-(oh, raptly)-

of her presence, and causes her unthinkingly to forgive
my having to struggle to evoke even a semblance
of what she so effortless, gorgeously, joyfully is.

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