A Husband's Soliloquy
if the paced space tilts onward
and we know nothing but what the light catches,
now in from elsewhere? I have lived a little
and learned too little—this road
then that traversed over and over,
and what I see glittering along the way
rivers in the tall pines and down
into the man-made dirt, holding out.
The brides are all in uniform, and the girls
don't mind—why should they? But the boys...
We've known as long as our mothers
that when the world shakes or is knocked free
it will be the men who will be asked
to right our wrongs. And the women,
God bless you, you'll forgive us.
Sleeping in lots, tearing loose from our beds,
walking drunkenly home from church,
bawling and bawling as the traffic bawls past.
We've seen what the dead do with history
and can only hope that when we are dead
things will finally be different. Still,
the canvas dries more slowly than the sad street;
the figures in the windows are as lonely.
So what if the world is only what we make of it?
There's no time for answers now that we've won
and gone tame through our neighbors' yards
hoping to steal our balls back. Girls,
you astonish me daily. Women, you devour me whole
in a way that makes me happy to have loved you.
My wife knows more than me in many ways:
she kisses in a way that tells me not to worry.
Oh, how the living heart lends some luster
to the boy awake who's counting backwards.
His body's heavy from being kissed and left.
Not from the dark shape of the room after,
but the kiss and the pinned breast
and the singing heat of a fever between sheets.
The lance is so long it pierces whatever it sees,
so he falls off his horse as quickly as he begins
whichever work is taken seriously today.
My, how we forget that the reasons, too, change,
that the mined lust has its own gravity to speak with.
Brides and horrific nights alone, tedious callings
for or from your own wont vocabularies... Shade me
from the vulgar disciplines we live by.
I want to be folded and yours forever, despite myself;
I want to be trampled alive with need each time I'm left.