“Husband” by Philip Schultz


What could be more picturesque
than us eating lobster on the water,
the sun vanishing over the horizon,
willing, once again, to allow us almost
any satisfaction. William James said
marriage was overlooking, overlooking,
yes, but also overlapping: opinions,
histories, the truth of someone not you
sitting across the table seeing the you
you can’t bear to, the face behind
the long fable in the mirror. Freud said
we’re cured when we see ourselves
the way a stranger does in moments.
Am I the I she tried to save, still lopsided
with trying to be a little less or more,
escaping who I was a moment ago?
Here, now, us, sipping wine in this
candlelit pause, in the charm of the ever
casting sky, every gesture familiar,
painfully endearing, the I of me, the she
of her, the us only we know, alone together
all these years. Call it what you like,
happiness or failure, the discreet curl
of her bottom lip, the hesitant green
of her eyes, still lovely with surprise.

“Husband” by Philip Schultz, from Failure. © Harcourt, Inc., 2007.

This entry was posted in poetry, relationship and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to “Husband” by Philip Schultz

  1. anvilcrow says:

    Cat like bird
    You leap through space
    An eruption
    In egyptian dresses
    bought at the source
    protected by an amulet
    rumored to have
    contained a powder
    to put enemies to sleep
    Ears dangling with baubles
    You glitter,pirouette,laugh
    living the moment who you are
    Sauteed in onions,garlic, and lilac

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