I wrote this while re-reading

I wrote this while re-reading bits of Writing Down the Bones, which I pulled out of my library of writing books. I was thinking of a couple of people in particular (one more than others), but it applies to many.

I am not the poem
the poems trail out behind me
in a cloud of words
like stars
or car exhaust.
I grow through poems
like rings on a tree
in 600 years to be cut down and printed
“here is where Columbus landed,
and there where the Declaration of Independence was signed”
here is where I wrote about you
when we were first friends
and there where you thought
you loved me and there
where I hated you.
I am not the poem,
not even this one
but I can’t tell you to stop reading
from those books of cloud rings of poems past
no more than I could tell you
to forget the cloud of memories in your head,
which doesn’t need my words at all.