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Without A Shield

At the Rochester Institute of Technology
while a graduate student
in photography
I met a woman
I’ll call Ingrid Bergman
and fell in love with her
allowing my soul to drift
in ethereal realms
When the time came
to return home to Brooklyn
we spoke seriously of our future
She loved me,
she said,
but also
Gustav Gustafson
and Earl Kip. This information
hurt but she said
all I had to do was hang on
until next summer
when we’d travel together
throughout Sweden.
“What are you going to do
from now till then? ” I asked.
In the fall and winter
she’d live with Gustafson
on his farm in Watertown New York
in the spring she’d go for a stint with Kip,
a professor of photography at R.I.T.
whom I knew to be
a philandering bum. How could she love him?
“Any chance you’ll change your mind? ” I asked.
She kissed me on the lips whispering,
“Love is supreme
but complicated.
It shatters all worlds.”

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