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Posts Tagged ‘long marriage’

The New Courting

Love, of course you’re not worthy

and I am not worthy, either.

Who do we think we are?

After twenty years, don’t

we know failure by now,

each other’s and our own?

There’s so little to hide,

and still we try to prove, what?

That we are good?

Oh love, my dear one, bring me

your undeserving hands,

I will give you my stained hands,

too, and let us hold each other

the way only two damaged

people can do—as if the world

depends on it, knowing full well

that it does.

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All night we turn

into each other’s arms

between dreams,

readjusting our bellies,

our backs, our toes

so they touch each other

lightly. Not the fumbling

of the newly met,

but the tenderness

of the long married,

we who know the

other’s body—all

the angles and softnesses,

all the positions where we

gently fit if only we bend an elbow

just so, if only we move

our leg just here—

how easy it is

to bend together

through darkness, how

beautiful to find you,

to be found.

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Weather Report

Though they predicted gray and snow,
the sun grew warmer all day long,
the sky crescendoed blue—

how could I help but pinch myself
that’s how it’s been with me and you.

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I was a river
then and you,
you were a god.
What did we know
of drought? There
was nothing
I could not smooth
given time. You,
you would wade
in me and I delighted
in playing against
your roughness,
pulled you deeper
deeper in. You
did not struggle
to leave. We did
not measure time
in hours, nor in waves,
nor in kisses, we
had no need
to measure. Those
were the days
we never forgot
that we belong
to each other.

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The heart remembers everything it loved and gave away,

everything it lost and found again, and everyone

it loved, the heart cannot forget.
—Joyce Sutphen

It is not true that the heart
remembers everything it loved
and gave away. Just today
I recalled that sweet Mormon boy
who I fell in love with
at a speech tournament
in the final round when
he beat me. What was his name?
I recall how we would meet
at greasy spoons in Denver
and eat eggs and pancakes
late, late at night. He was slender,
and had dark hair and such
sincere eyes, and I loved
to laugh at his clean, clean jokes.
You could argue he was found again
in the heart’s archives
after passing a late night restaurant
that reminded me of the one we liked,
but he is more forgotten to me
now than remembered.
It is perhaps, like
how my husband and I
now take our children
with us on trips to foreign lands.
I remember my husband’s mother saying,
You know he won’t remember it,
speaking of my three-year-old boy.
And I thought, that is not the point.
The point is that we travel. That
he learns right now what it is
to be a citizen of the world.
And so it is he has grown to love
travel and people and learning new things
and seeing new landscapes and
saying thank you in other tongues.
And he does not remember
a thing about Argentina.
And so it is, perhaps, that
all of those lovers I don’t remember,
and the ones who I vaguely do,
they were in their way
all preparing me to be a better
love to you. Although I have forgotten
names and conversations,
inside jokes and back alley kisses,
the heart perhaps remembers
how it opened then. It was practicing
the best it could to love you now,
though we do not have now
what I thought that love would look like.
How simple it was then, a side
of maple syrup, a car with a full tank of gas
and a whole night that lasted
partway to forever.

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