"It isn't going to a bed with a man that proves you're in love with him; it's getting up in the morning and facing the drab, miserable, wonderful everyday world with him that counts."
After a Noisy NightThe man I love enters the kitchen
with a groan, he just
woke up, his hair a Rorschach test.
A minty kiss, a hand
on my neck, coffee, two percent milk,
microwave. He collapses
on a chair, stunned with sleep,
yawns, groans again, complains
about his dry sinuses and crusted nose.
I want to tell him how
much he slept, how well,
the cacophony of his snoring
pumping in long wheezes
and throttles—the debacle
of rhythm—hours erratic
with staccato of pants and puffs,
crescendi of gulps, chokes,
pectoral sputters and spits.
But the microwave goes ding!
A short little ding! – sharp
as a guillotine—loud enough to stop
my words from killing the moment.
And during the few seconds
it takes the man I love
to open the microwave, stir,
sip and sit there staring
at his mug, I remember the vows
I made to my pillows, to fate
and God: I'll stop eating licorice,
become a blonde, a lumberjack,
a Catholic, anything,
but bring a man to me:
so I go to him: Sorry, honey,
sorry you had such a rough night,
hold his gray head against my heart
and kiss him, kiss him.
from The Hour Between Dog and Wolf. © BOA Editions, Ltd., 1997.