Poetry: Visit With the Newlyweds

Visit with the Newlyweds
–Rebec­ca McClanahan
From Mrs. Hou­di­ni, Poems of Rebec­ca McClanahan

She does not know how white her neck,
or how naked. He can­not pass her
with­out touch­ing. It is summer,
their cot­ton clothes soft as gauze.
The rel­a­tives have giv­en gifts
they will grow into. Chi­na teacups.
Glass birds. A clock with a sec­ond hand.
I have brought Sweet Williams.
She is amazed some­thing so pink
can bloom every year with­out planting.
Yes, I answer. Eleven years for us.
Eleven? she asks and looks at the clock
As if every­thing were told in hours.
Upstairs by their bed, the wed­ding pillow.
Every night they mar­ry again.
I want to tell them how crowded
the bed will become, how soon
he will sleep with her mother.
The bride yawns, her eyes
turn­ing back the sheet.
Back home the sheets are thin,
the ros­es worn smooth
beneath bod­ies so familiar
we wear our skin like clothes.
You touch me and I move to lower
the straps I pre­tend are there.
Some nights I for­get we are married.
Some nights it is all I know.

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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