Adrienne Rich





Memorize This

i. 
Love for twenty-six years, you can’t stop
A withered petunia’s crisp    the bud sticky    both are dark
The flower engulfed in its own purple    So common, nothing like it

The old woodstove gone to the dump
Sun plunges through the new skylight
This morning’s clouds piled like autumn in Massachusetts
This afternoon’s far-flung like the Mojave
Night melts one body into another
One drives fast the other maps a route
Thought new it becomes familiar
From thirteen years back maybe
One oils the hinges one edges the knives
One loses an earring the other finds it
One says I’d rather make love
Than go to the Greek Festival
The other, I agree.

ii.
Take a strand of your hair
on my fingers let it fall
across the pillow    lift to my nostrils
inhale your body entire

Sleeping with you after
weeks apart    how normal
yet    after midnight
to turn and slide my arm 
along your thigh
drawn up in sleep
what delicate amaze