There you were
helping your friends
who were not yet married
before their reception
by cutting something small
carrots or cucumbers,
You were being mindful
of the knifeness of the knife
and how strange it was
not because it cut
but because of the way
and in consequence
you were working
everything and everyone
that depended on you.
I loved you for
your mindful sluggishness,
and how you were unconscious
of your beauty
in the beautiful moment
I think sometimes
how if that beautiful moment had lasted
I might have married you
and you me
and how eventually
someone else would have had to take over
for both of us.
And I think:
doesn’t lead to the next.
Insensibly, spring’s thaw had started. By then they’d begun
Reciting one another’s commonplaces like a favorite song.
Later, their sighs swelled summer’s air as summer’s days grew long.
Each met the other’s stolen glances, each one shining to the other like a sun.
As in the yard the new grapes imperceptibly prospered
Where the same force drove life up through the cinctured vine,
So she beneath his breathless hands, he beneath hers, in their good time,
Grew bountiful and swollen and about to burst.
After that perfect, endless season throughout which they grew
(Endless, because perfect; perfect, for seeming without end)
The early frosts began to come. Little was left unharvested by then—
And the young wine already making, that would be laid by,
Years on to savor of those dusty, languorous days, those earnest nights,
Those vanished morns when she, and he, and the whole world, were new.