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Fragments of a Marriage


Fifty-seven years. Your low-rise sports car.
Your plaid necktie slung over a tweed shoulder.
Your visor cap, your pipe, a meerschaum,

soapy white, hand carved. My scarf, billowing
as we climbed mountain stairs on Hydra.
Your dive from craggy rocks into the Aegean.

The fountain where we met, playing guitars.
Kumbayah. One world. Faces that blurred until
your green eyes creased in corners when you laughed.

And afterwards, the miracle of ordinariness,
the wonder of each thing we’d known before;
sunlight that picked up stains in stainless flatware,

snapper fileted but for a bone or three.
Your well-deep voice that called for decaf coffee.
Dancing soft-shoe to Mahler, listening

in a storm to a storm of timpani.
Bucking winds that augured an icy winter.
Rolling in waves’ foam at the shore’s edge.

Waking to the fragrance of Russian sage,
amazed that there was ever a before
to us. Drafts of our lives. Brilliant red-yellow

brushstrokes without an overall design.
The finished painting that I knew
we’d never own when you lay perfect, complete.


Grace Schulman

The Hudson Review

Summer 2017


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