I've been reading the poet Tess Gallagher's memoir about her late husband Raymond Carver. Theirs is one of the all-time great literary love-stories. Tess gave Ray a reason to stay sober and a reason to keep writing--the two things that defined his last decade, what he calls his happy "gravy" years. And as the first man in her life who stayed sober, Ray gave Tess a belief in redemption, a motiff that showed up in both of their writings during the 80s and, for Tess, beyond. Tess reprints several of Ray's poems in the piece, including this one, the last thing he wrote before succumbing to cancer:
And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.