Hallmark does not make a card for this
for what we mean to each other,
for what we do when my kids are asleep.
We are not married. Not husband and wife.
What do we mean to each other?
More than lovers, more than friends
but we are not married. Not husband and wife.
One card says, Know what I love about you?
Or To My Partner, To My Friend,
with the inside left blank.
My boyfriend asks, “what do you
know about me?” as he brings me water at 3 a.m.
With the inside left blank
I write To the man I spend my nights with,
who brings me a glass of water at 3 a.m.,
whose body was made to fit inside my body:
There’s no one else I’d rather spend my nights with.
Who are we when my kids are asleep?
His beautiful body fits inside of my body.
Hallmark does not make a card for this.
The Great Hello
A big-ass moon rises full and wide
in the western sky. The deep pond
awakens with the tongues of bullfrogs.
I’m barely over the threshold before
our mouths lock and we slither
onto the bed. We watch each other
watching each other with a silent urging,
a kindness for the other in the pursuit of pleasure.
I fling my head back as he grabs my hips,
pulls me close, begin to feel myself levitate,
hovering above the bed as the shadow
of someone I don’t recognize but have known
all her life. I am an over-easy egg
trying not to break her yolk,
but I do. The joy of leaving the body,
tender and shimmering. A moment of gratitude
for every daunting thing that brought me to this place
where I am my most fearless, my most true.
I wick the sweat from his head, slide my hand across
his glistening skin before crawling back into myself,
sprawled across the sheets, streaked in moonlight.
The Beyond Place
Eat for the hunger that comes
says our guide, as I try
my first serviceberry:
purplish globes, sweet
with an almond finish.
I am a first-time forager,
marveling this marvel of landscape
made lush by the rush of the Hoosic’s
underground waters. The name, he tells us,
was translated from Algonquin
as “the beyond place.”
Generous June. Every tree surrenders
its green flags while
we crouch ground-low,
spy the wide splays of leaves,
their dark, papery undersides
send messages from below:
this plant is edible; this one will kill you.
I climbed out of one world—
to taste another.
City girl. Chicken of the Woods.
Yet here the humid wind softens
the cicadas’ strident song
as we root and snip, bend stems
back to the point of breaking
to discover wild carrot, or is it hemlock?
Stick with the berries, I tell myself.
A rough twang, a touch of funk—
trust the joy I know.