Weeds grow where they want to; not where they're told to grow...


Gordon Shrubb


Marooned in fever, Étienne de La Boétie enjoins his friend.
— What’s my place?
Montaigne attempts the remedy of reason.
— Your body of breath and thought.
— No, I need a place. This breath is brief and leaving.

Montaigne identifies his farm, his family, his church.
Still, La Boétie repeats.
 — Please do not refuse me a place.
Montaigne feels philosophy in the refrain
but cannot conjure a complicity.

Months after La Boétie’s death, musing on silence
Montaigne hears his meaning.
Our place in another’s life
held onwardly with tender resolutions
through the discord of recall.

The aftermath of the death of an intimate friend
is like the dissolution of music
or a chasm from the sinking of an island.
Montaigne redeeming melancholy ways
places La Boétie confrère to his Essays.


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