I once had a hideous job traveling to various colleges for short stints teaching Speed Reading (useless), Study Skills (mostly useless), and Mnemonics (useless unless memorizing long random numbers is your thing). The job paid almost nothing so I camped in state parks and scooped up extra packages of crackers, butter, mayonnaise, and marmalade at fast-food restaurants for supplemental calories.
But the students were great, because students are always great, and sometimes they were sad to say goodbye. Our paths will cross again in an airport someday, I used to tell them, and I believed it. I still believe it, even though it’s never happened. Someday I will meet them again: lost friends, lost students, lost loves. We’ll each be late for our flights, with time for only a few words, so we’ll have to make them count: I hope you know how much I loved you.
excerpted from The Glass Essay, by Anne Carson
Perhaps the hardest thing about losing a lover is
to watch the year repeat its days.
It is as if I could dip my hand down
into time and scoop up
blue and green lozenges of April heat
a year ago in another country.
I can feel that other day running underneath this one
like an old videotape—