Tuesday, March 27, 2012

marriage on the half-hour

it is six thirty and her nursing is calf and 
older daughter is weeping about girls with 
hard red mouths. you are shoulders and
ass, you are knotted arm muscles making dinner
giving baths. i can smell your neck when i 
hold you briefly, before dinner, your hands
are damp and leave a cool imprint on the back
of my cotton shirt. i eat with nipples hard.
it is seven thirty and you are strained entreats
drawn eyes you are thick thighs kneeling to
dry the baby. older son is asking you about punk
bands. you answer in the low engine of that voice.
it is eight thirty and  you are taking vitamins
you are off the clock you are heading to bed now
you are too tired to hold me like you mean it.
it is nine thirty and i am showering in a silent
dark house. i think about you and your eyes
your voice your body in the darkness of
Friday night. i lean into the water and think
about crawling in bed with you, naked and wet
and waking you up without words.
it is ten thirty and i am falling asleep and 
like a child i sleep in your shirt.
at five thirty you will be in the shower again.
by six thirty you will be gone and when i wake
i will find the money you tucked into my wallet
for the coffee i will buy at seven thirty.

Annie said...

The final line is delicate and touching- this way of showing care when there's no time and no other way. Other images I like: you answer in the low engine of that voice... like a child i sleep in your shirt... weeping about girls with hard red mouths... The momentum and rhythm and "timbre" of the poem all works, the short clipped syllables like the making of lists or the marking of time, all adding up to the desire and the loss, with that fruitful glimmer of connection at the end.

Ms. Moon said...

Oh Maggie. This is it. This is all of it.

Caroline said...

It is perfection, Maggie. Perfect.

Chrissy said...

Have you ever considered filling up a small chapbook with your poems? I would totally purchase.

Anonymous said...

i love this.

Robin said...


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