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Feet and hands

March 9, 2011

Once upon a time, when I’d not been married all that long, I wrote a poem called “Poem on the Beautiful Hands of Jennifer.” Now, at last, the hands have been matched by the feet. That is, I’ve come up with a tribute to my wife’s feet, as if from a dream. This is a very different animal from the hands poem (see below), but it seems appropriate to the times.

Her Foot

My baby my baby my
baby, I cannot talk
to you while you’re a
sleep, inert, inured,
this nocturnal
ritual, paralysis
and recovery, you
lie like a hay
mow, snoring, my
darling, breathing,
and I am a
wake, alert,
the night bumping
like an old boat against
the moorings, my foot a
twitch, atwitter,
moves nearer under cover
of the dark, of bed clothes,
slides atop your foot, strokes it
and heat quivers through my limbs, my
love, my spine, we are welded, one
to another, wedded here, in
sickness and advancing age,
in the watches of the night,
to each other, this
is our fate, this
is bliss, dear, this
unconscious thing,
this night, is bliss,
believe me.

breakfast w jen

Breakfast with my sweetheart on her birthday

The other poem, from ages and ages ago, is this:

Poem on the Beautiful Hands of Jennifer

In the half-light of the marriage bed
you take from under the sheets and show me
your incredibly beautiful hands —
small, slim, tapering into flame —
and hold me then to the heat of your breast,
your heart which is choiring in this milky
light, and tell me with your erotically
articulate fingers how close we can be.
As I unfurl from doubt’s tight fist,
from the fetal dark, it dawns on me
how wholly unclenched and open you are —
your fingers which know so well how
to sew and cook and tease a balky
piano into music and stroke a lover
ecstatically, a wand of subtle
light and heat that binds me gently
to you, this early hour of the morning,
in the half-light of the marriage bed.

 

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From → dreams, mortality

4 Comments
  1. The best Greg Zeck writing i have ever read.

  2. Greg, these are both very beautiful pieces of poetry. I especially enjoyed the one about her hands. It invited my memories to swim in the fluid happiness of my own unrequited love (Back when it was still requited). Thank you for sharing these with us. The sun that shines on the world of those in love, shines a little brighter in reciprocation to those who shine their light on love.

    • Thanks, appreciate it. The theme is inexhaustible, yes? As long as we ourselves are not exhausted? And it’s one of those, I think, that can’t ultimately be faked. (Unless you work all day at Hallmark.)

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