“always we couldn’t do otherwise”

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Yes, afraid of marriage perhaps, but sometimes the sea and sand underfoot warm and soften the idea of being eternally bound.

It’s March. And was it really, truly a year ago since that other thing happened?

Prothalamion
Michael Ryan

The love we’ve defined for ourselves
in privacy, in suffering,
keeps both of us lonely as a fist,
but does intimacy mean a happy ending?
I’m afraid of marriage.
Driving past them at night, the shadows
on a drawn curtain hide terrible lives:
a father stuck in a job, his daughter
opening her blouse to strangers.
And your hands, for example,
like a warm liquid on my face
don’t evaporate as you take them away.
Nor are our betrayals silent,
although we listen only in passing.
We’re learning how to walk unlit streets,
to see threats instead of trees,
the right answer to a teenager
opening his knife. The answer is yes.
Always we couldn’t do otherwise.
Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash

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