Why do poets write?

My wife, a psychiatrist, sleeps
through my reading and writing in bed,
the half-whispered lines,
manuscripts piled between us,


but in the deep part of night
when her beeper sounds
she bolts awake to return the page
of a patient afraid he'll kill himself.


She sits in her robe in the kitchen,
listening to the anguished voice
on the phone. She becomes
the vessel that contains his fear,


someone he can trust to tell
things I would tell to a poem.