Altruism

Original Text: 
Molly Peacock, Cornucopia: New and Selected Poems 1975-2002 (New York: W. W. Norton, 2002): 166.
1What if we got outside ourselves and there
2really was an outside out there, not just
3our insides turned inside out? What if there
4really were a you beyond me, not just
5the waves off my own fire, like those waves off
6the backyard grill you can see the next yard through,
7though not well -- just enough to know that off
8to the right belongs to someone else, not you.
9What if, when we said I love you, there were
10a you to love as there is a yard beyond
11to walk past the grill and get to? To endure
12the endless walk through the self, knowing through a bond
13that has no basis (for ourselves are all we know)
14is altruism: not giving, but coming to know
15someone is there through the wavy vision
16of the self's heat, love become a decision.
Publication Notes: 
Take Heart (1989)
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2004
Rhyme: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright 2002 Molly Peacock: Cornucopia W. W. Norton. Permission to reproduce must be obtained from the publisher.