“A Notion of Marriage,” Published Anew

 A Notion of Marriage


Because I am a poet,

I read about things like the center of skin.

About warm bodies coming together in the dark,

and how it’s the meaning of life

when someone gets it right.


And I know I should write about things

like a moving chest and a naked back.

About the coming together of life in the dark,

about our common desire

and the verbs that it took.


And it should be universal,

but personal.

My moving chest, your naked back.

The notion of marriage,

of children, of daily love.

Shrinking rooms

beneath the surface of

different meaning words.


But I don’t see the dark jaw

in the night,

or the soft center of touch spring alive.

There is effort and a plan.

There is marriage,

a shrinking room,

daily love,

and a baby that eats time.


We do not say flesh when we mean sex.

We say it’s about right.

And, it would be nice.

We confirm how long it’s been

before we ask the other

to get up and make the bedroom



The very generous community writing project VerseWrights posted my poem “A Notion of Marriage” on its home page last week. A big thank you to Carl Sharpe, a former English teacher who now devotes his time to running this dynamic initiative.

This poem was originally published by “The Aviary Review.”

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