we trade one kind of happiness for another

This:
Your husband making sweet and sour chicken,
taking the children fishing or doing laundry while you read
to them of conches, of a Hindu prince who runs, while a raven eats away
your heart, pecking for missing pomegranate seeds,
finding only poems. He blinks. You blink. He flies away. You turn
from your husband’s touch. It is too much, or not enough.
The shared smile over children may be, but you and he
don’t fly touching wings despite trying.
For this:
Your husband flown the nest. Your heart a full fruit in four hands, burst,
staining walls with blood thrown stars every morning, every time you
crack it between thumbs from whom poems have temporarily fled
into folded laundry’s lights, darks and reds, into tired Illinois menus
of pork pot roast, potatoes, frozen pizzas and children (hold them
tighter) punching to grab your eyes bedazzled by sunrise over skin,
by a Hindu prince who runs and returns, runs and returns,
and a raven who no longer blinks and burns.

2008

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