you who once ached
with your own growing larger
absorbed by your own
When I danced,
When you broke,
And so it was lying down,
climbing the tiring stairs.
Your jaws. My bread.
what is left of you,
will be flensed of this marriage.
Angular wristbone's arthritis,
cracked harp of ribcage,
blunt of heel,
opened bowl of the skull,
twin platters of pelvis—
each of you will leave me behind,
at last serene.
What did I know of your days,
I who held you all my life
inside my hands
and thought they were empty?
You who held me all my life
inside your hands
as a new mother holds
her own unblanketed child,
not thinking at all.
You inhabit a district delineated for wobble-headed men and
women. Outside your window snow shimmers; a suet feeder
hangs from a birch
waiting for a woodpecker; your darkened room’s a liquid
compass whose needle
you ride in your dreams as in your wakeful hours. No word
We’re so far from our beginnings—yours in Ohio, mine in you—
from rivalries, resentments, your deforming disappointments.
So easy now my hand stroking yours, simple affection
carved from the side of the hulk that survived the storms.
Could you have found me easier to love if I’d been less
of happiness? I envied you your easy crawl out to the buoy and
learned the legend of you that ended as I began. Our lives are
less than what we make of them, or the reverse, your kicking
toward weightlessness delivering you to granite carved with