Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth

Adrienne Rich (1929–2012)

It is you it is you it can only
be you calling and I cannot answer
in time whatever time is with no answer
though I can hear your voice without its words
your own voice yours alone speaking to me
through the dark echoless ageless corridors
of six decades out of reach and beyond
answering if I knew what to answer
then we laughed as we talked about likeness
and difference and the echoes of change
about recognition and its one sound
while we changed without knowing we were
answering but the question was still there
we never answered it I remember now
as I do not answer while it keeps ringing
while it rings on and I do not answer
and still do not know what the question is

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