Poetry: The Marriage-Bed

The Marriage-Bed
–Michael Simms
From The Happiness of Animals

for Eva

The marriage-bed is the center of happiness,
            a point from which all things ripple outward,
            a nest from which all things learn to fly.
It is the sign of return, part of the great rhythm
            of the seasons and of the years.
It is the dream of return, the strength and faith
            that sing of home.
It is the wren’s nest woven of twigs and string,
            the swallow’s nest of saliva and mud.
It is what we return to, as migratory birds
            passing over marshes and fields
            dream of the end of the journey.
It is what frightens night-devils away,
            even in winter.
It is the tree that grows through the house,
            the hollow of the tree that has never known death.
It is the crystal of all feeling, the flower of all
            understanding, the small containing the large.
It is the nautilus growing its many chambers of love.
It is the sudden outburst of one who has long been silent.
It is the idea that a calla lily can be shaped
            like a wineglass on a long green stem.
It is the heart-stone.
It is the name of all names
            that thinks it is a star and a rose.
It is a conch-shell rough on the outside,
            pearly in its intimacy.
It is a snail rolling over and over
            building a staircase.
It is an animal, an almond, a repose.
It is an oyster opening in the full of the moon.
It is a mouth telling a secret.
It is a kiln where clay battles fire.
It is the simple happiness of sleeping on a boat.
These are the walls we’ve pressed back into a circle
            in the shape of our merged bodies
And it will take a long time for the waves
            spreading from the center of our intimacy
            to reach the ends of the world.

Current Mood: 🙂content
Current Location: home
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.
Posts created 4263

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