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Long Marriage

Poem

by

Forward his numb foot, back

her foot, his chin on her head,

her head on his collarbone,

during those marathons

between wars, our vivid

Dark Times, each dancer holds

the other up so he,

as the vertical heap barely

moves yet moves, or she,

eyes half-lidded, unmoored,

can rest. Why these, surviving

a decimated field?

More than a lucky fit --

not planks planed from the same

oak trunk but mortise and tenon --

it is the yoke that makes

the pair, that binds them to

their blind resolve, two kids

who thought the world was burning

itself out, and bet

on a matched disregard

for the safe and the sad -- Look,

one hisses toward the flared

familiar ear, we've come

this far, this far, this far.

"Long Marriage" appears in Shadow of Heaven:

Poems, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2002.