Here I stop with you — Je m’arrête ici avec toi — Me detengo aquí contigo

English followed by une version en français y una versión en español. The rejected, superseded, original draft of this poem is reproduced, in English only, at the end of this post.

I stop here with you

For M

from Audrey composite 2 - William Eaton, 2022, more croppedHere I stop
With you.
Will time show us our faith has been misplaced?
I suppose it will,
And sooner than later.

But I am not looking farther than you.
In my imagination
You are solid.

We don’t know what the future holds
For a person such as you imagine yourself to be,
As I imagine myself to be –
And lovable, we would like to think.

We might hold hands,
We might hug.
I stop here with you.


There is a line from a Frank O’Hara poem that is routinely being quoted out of context, to include by Sally Rooney, as the epigraph for her (excellent) novel Conversations with Friends, and now here, by me, in the context of the present poem. The line is “In times of crisis, we must all decide again and again whom we love.” O’Hara’s love in this case is Hollywood; the poem is titled To the Film Industry in Crisis and concludes: “Roll on, reels of celluloid, as the great earth rolls on!”


Je m’arrête ici avec toi

Pour M

Je m’arrête ici
Avec toi.
Allons-nous apprendre que notre foi est mal placée ?
Et plus tôt que tard?

Mais je ne regarde pas plus loin que toi.
Dans mon imagination
Tu es solide.

Nous ne savons pas ce que l’avenir réserve
À une personne telle que tu t’imagines,
À une personne comme je m’imagine –
Entre autres choses aimables, nous aimerions le croire.

Nous pourrions nous tenir la main,
On peut s’embrasser.
Je m’arrête ici avec toi.


Me detengo aquí contigo

Para M
Me detengo aquí
¿Vamos a aprender que nuestra fe ha estado fuera de lugar?
Supongo que sí,
y más pronto que tarde.

Pero no estoy mirando más lejos que tú.
En mi imaginación
eres sólido.

No sabemos lo que depara el futuro
a una persona como te imaginas ser,
como yo me imagino ser
-entre otras cosas adorables, nos gustaría pensar.

Podemos darnos la mano,
podemos abrazarnos.
Me detengo aquí contigo.

— Poem(s) and drawing by William Eaton.

N.B.: The original version of this poem was substantially revised in May 2023. The original title read: “I am content with you — Je peux m’arrêter — Eres algo sólido”. While again insisting that this version has been rejected or superseded, I here record the English version of that old draft:

I am content with you

For M
I am content with you.
I can stop here with you.
In time will you show me my faith has been misplaced?
I suppose you will.
But I would not look further than you.
You are something solid.
Not only in my imagination.
And though I am uncertain what the future can hold
For any of us
For a person like you
Like me
So lovable
We might hold hands.
For warmth hug.
I am content with you.

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