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The water closing
over us and the
going down is all.
Gills are given.
We convert in a
town of broken hulls
and green doubloons.
O you dead pirates
hear us! There is
no salvage. All
you know is the color
of warm caramel. All
is salt. See how
our eyes have migrated
to the uphill side?
Now we are new round
mouths and no spines
letting the water cover.
It happens over
and over, me in
your body and you
in mine.

–Maxine W. Kumin

A poem for Dave, my partner of 31 years. To the day.

After Love

Afterwards, the compromise.
Bodies resume their boundaries.

These legs, for instance, mine.
Your arms take you back in.

Spoons of our fingers, lips
admit their ownership.

The bedding yawns, a door
blows aimlessly ajar

and overhead, a plane
singsongs coming down.

Nothing is changed, except
there was a moment when

the wolf, the mongering wolf
who stands outside the self

lay lightly down, and slept.

–Maxine Kumin

Ever since returning home from India, I’ve been in a phase where words, particularly my own, feel frustratingly inadequate and unsatisfying. I just want to be silent, to let life pass through me with no parsing or analysis. So I am relying on poets and others to fill in for me for the time being.

In the meantime the non-languaged parts of my life are rich, rewarding and full. I am feeling very connected when I am in the studio and when I am in my body. So maybe my disconnect with fluent verbalizing isn’t such a bad thing.

I love this Kumin poem. Thank you Dave for sharing your leg, among other things.