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A Love Poem

Jan. 2, 2011
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                                        Stanley Kunitz, 1905-2006

Every night I go to bed with Stanley. 

I enfold his frail bones
in my arms and am warmed
by his breath in my ear.      

The cool pima we lie on
is transformed by his whispered words
to a wooden boat bobbing at sea. 
I lick the brine from his face.

Some nights the flowers of his garden
surround us.  Lavender suffuses the air.           
Seashells crunch as we shift      
and the light shining in the window
is the moon tugging the tide                                         
the way we tug the sheets wrapped about us.

The linens wrinkle like the wind-swept beach,    
like the wave-furrowed sand, like the rhythmic
grooving on the shells he loved to collect.       

Even though the poet has thrown off
his own worn-out shell    
he joins me every night
and I fall asleep with his words
lapping the shore of my mind.

Night after night with Stanley.

When she is not sailing up the Niger on her way to Timbuktu or trekking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, Phyllis Wax is in Milwaukee writing poetry.  Her work appears in numerous journals and anthologies.  She may be reached at poetwax@yahoo.com.


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