Such a large absence—should it not compel the largest presence?
-Jorie Graham

We were trying to make the best
of a very short time. Though we would not admit it
we were hurrying things to their end. The signs

were apparent but we were too busy
and knew that we would only make the same mess
again so we did not try. We wanted too much

and everything we wanted we thought
we could have. To those who will be left
to keep all our promises there is nothing more

we can promise. Nor will anything change
if we tell each other how sorry we are. We knew
even then what we should not do and if

guilt could return all that we wasted
and apologies could clean all our wounds
we would have been twice as decadent.


Craig Morgan Teicher‘s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in _Boston Review_, _typo_, _Pleaides_, _Forklift_, _Ohio_, and _The Paris Review_. He currently works at _Publishers Weekly_ and edits poetry reviews.