“I thought, maybe I could do that. I could get a table somewhere.” Jean Valentine on seeing Adrienne Rich’s workspace for the first time

Friend,

by Jean Valentine

You came in a dream, yesterday
—The first day we met
you showed me your dark workroom
off the kitchen, your books, your notebooks.

Reading our last, knowing-last letters
—the years of our friendship
reading our poems to each other,
I would start breathing again.

Yesterday, in the afternoon,
more than a year since you died,
some words came into the air.
I looked away a second,
and they were gone,
six lines, just passing through.

(for Adrienne Rich)

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