Ode to My Husband, Who Brings The Music

By | 5 December 2019

There are more windows in the new house, so much light
the living room feels weightless. On weekends, I find you
staring out into the garden from the sofa.
You always wake before me, go downstairs & start
playing a song on your phone—sometimes it’s new,
more often it’s not, & always it works
the memory. When we carved the olive tree near our school,
we could barely see the letters. But after the rain,
they blazed orange. Does bark heal, our names
buried inside it? A name is a wound is a song,
so what you’re really doing is calling me. From what
sleep? You warned I eat my days too fast,
or perhaps it was too slow. You once asked,
What happened? A balding head, a bank account.
Somewhere, a boy with a black fringe kicks a football & eats figs
straight from the tree. I repeat the story of my fear
of fig trees, how my parents said the wind from the branches
could blind me. No such thing, you shrug.
Half of our hometowns thought our marriage was a sin.
A mistake, at least. There were phone calls.
There was hanging up. Years of silence.
& though we weren’t a revolution,
we were at least a questioning.
Last week, you almost dialed my old phone number,
& I wondered whether it would ring
in my childhood house, & whether I’d rush to answer.
Only you know & remember the house I drew
over & over again in all my school books:
house with roof tiles, with chimney,
with lake & swan. Simple, geometric house
I never colored in. But look how resilient
the future is, how I underestimated
the importance of big windows. Of the calm sea
of you. I don’t know at what age we learn to be afraid
of happiness. Our first slow dance was in a family club
called Union, in a town too small. We had no flow,
still have none. Unless you consider this—

me in bed, not ready for the morning yet,
& you downstairs, bringing the music.

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