No Sunset

So, what is real? It’s not these memories:
The halt, spasmodic assays of my past
Are pictures now, hung up in galleries,
Some early chapters, neither best nor last.

For love is not a happening. It is
A work of many choices, many deeds;
It is the touch that bears us through our grief,
The careful stitches to the heart that bleeds.

And you — you are the realest whom I’ve known:
A gentleness someway both fierce and strong,
And as the years have gone — and some have flown —
Love stronger grows the more that it grows long.

    There is no sunset I would rather see
    Than any with you still here next to me

8 Portraits, #8

Her favorite pasttime.

Spare moments she can find, she’ll always read.
It’s how she says she’s been since she was small;
Some just for fun, and some her soul to feed,
We’ve large walls full of books – she’s read them all.

It is a thing about her I hold dear;
Not just her loving heart, but searching mind;
There is something appealing in the sheer
Energy she always seems to find

Exploring some new place or some new book.
I might walk in exhausted from my day,
So she’ll glance up to give a loving look,
And when I need, she’ll put the book away —

But I, who’ve loved to read since just a boy –
I hate to interrupt
That sort
Of joy

8 Portraits, #7

Another night’s conversation.

Candy crush?

No, Trivia Crack.

Who are you playing?

Denise’s sister.

I didn’t know Denise had a sister.

She does, and she’s not very good at this game.
I’ve beaten her like fifty times in a row.

Why does she keep playing you if she keeps losing?

She says she’ll outlast me, that she has more stamina.

Now, I KNOW that’s not possible. Do you want me to tell her?

You get away from my phone.

Doesn’t the name “Trivia Crack” sound like a warning?
I mean “Crack” isn’t exactly known for its salutary effects.

“Salutary”? I’m glad I’m not playing you at this game.

Don’t make fun of my nerdy vocabulary…

Don’t make fun of my trivia crack addiction…

8 Portraits, #6

Days and weeks of perpetual seduction.

We’d each been married before, and those disappointments fueled a mutual gratitude towards each other that made love stronger.

There were days and weeks of perpetual seduction, which I yielded to at every turn.

She lay stretched across the bed facing away from me as I came out of the shower. She said, “I have something for you.”

I asked her what that might be.

She said, “you’ve touched my spirit, and the body comes with it.”

I found little to complain about with that arrangement.

8 Portraits, #5

A certain rainy summer afternoon.

She knows the rain is coming
And it’s making her feel bad;
But seeing her in that outfit is
About to drive me mad

As she looks out the window
It just feeds my appetite;
And as I move to touch her
And I can tell that I’ve done right

Because we fall together,
And in a sort of haze
We make amazing night out of
The boringest of days

And many hours later,
With takeout at the door,
I dress to answer, seeing those
Black shorts upon the floor

And look at her in wonder,
As pretty as a painting,
And thankful that this afternoon
It happens to be
Raining

8 Portraits, #4

Early in our marriage. I’m leaving for a trip.

My last few things I’m packing up,
A week I will be gone;
And still she will not look at me,
Her eyes, they linger on

Some unknown person far away.
I ask if she’s okay —
She mumbles something at me, but
Just what, I couldn’t say

I sit down on the bed by her,
And look into her eyes,
And say I’ll call her every night,
When much to my surprise

She suddenly holds on to me
For everything she’s worth;
As though we two were all there are,
The last people on earth

She isn’t angry, not at all,
She knows I have to go;
But I wish I could stay with her
And so I tell her so

And hours later, on a plane
Whose take off is past due,
I get a text from her that says

“Have fun sweetheart I love you”

8 Portraits, #3

Saturday morning.

The sun is streaking through the windows bare
And falls across her on our early bed
She beckons me to lay beside her there
And breathing serves where words are never said

There’s coffee and vanilla in the air
A softness to her touch upon the spread
Her robe is careless tossed across the chair
A picture hanging of the day we wed

And with the silent Saturday, we dare
Not to protest, but join its hush, instead