From Adrienne Rich’s “Twenty-One Love Poems”

No one’s fated or doomed to love anyone.

The accidents happen, we’re not heroines,

they happen in our lives like car crashes,

books that change us, neighborhoods

we move into and come to love.

Tristan und Isolde is scarcely the story,

women at least should know the difference

between love and death. No poison cup,

no penance. Merely a notion that the tape-recorder

should have caught some ghost of us: that tape-recorder

not merely played but should have listened to us,

and could instruct those after us:

this we were, this is how we tried to love,

and there are the forces they had ranged against us,

and these are the forces we hand ranged within us,

within us and against us, against us and within us.

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