There are, dear daughter, oceans between us
(At your insistence, though I say this without rancor)
A buffer from the memories of our sad antics,
Pottery reduced to shards, doors slammed in such a manner
That the very jambs ached in regret,
The hinges wept in the weight of their sadness,
Though the human heart, mapped by its own wan geography,
Is immune to such trifles as mere distance.
We have tarried in foul gardens of sophistry,
Engaged in predictable shows of dramatics,
As if our outbursts can be measured in some calculus
Seeking to ascertain our devotion
In the rending of garments, the shrieking collapse upon the floor,
For it has been revealed to me
That the spectacle of our grand lamentations,
Worn by us like the finest silver-threaded garments,
Are no more than the strutting and preening
Of some noisome, foul peacock.
No, we must accept, indeed embrace, the notion
That our love is as imperfect as our selves,
And that we must approach its altar
Not with grandiloquence and haughty pomp,
But meekly, bearing the simple gift our person
Modestly cloaked in the simple black gown of humility.
The Marquesa was one of the unlucky individuals whom were cast into the abyss by Thornton Wilder in the novel The Bridge Of San Luis Rey, which is as **** fine a novel as has ever been unjustly more-or-less forgotten.