Karen and I married in 1968.
We've known each other since 1964.
I've never wanted to be with anyone else,
and have been taken to task by friends
for my lack of experience with women.

I promised 400 bucks a month and this—
We don't want a marriage like our parents'—
and while that may be true and foolish,
I stand by it, 41 plus years later.
Marriage statistics confirm

what the Stage Manager says in the play,
Do I believe in it? Look and wonder.
37 percent fewer marriages, divorce rate
steady at just over 50 percent. Big fight
in the country over gay marriage—

a coverup for institution and status quo.
Love that radiates burns all.
Love has nothing to do with knees and elbows.
I'm with Milton. Light interpenetrating light,
like the angel says. Gabriel waves us goodbye.

Our three children, married four times,
divorced three. I believe in divorce.
Thank God, for divorce,
more difficult than death itself.
Once in a marriage encounter, designed

to make our marriage stronger,
I took a chunk of bread bigger than pastor's vision
of my hunger. He went into my mouth
with fingers to reclaim God's body. I remember him
as the joke he remains. Once, a priest,

who doesn't carry divorce in his kit,
asked, When does marriage begin?
His question is daily medicine.
Some 20 years ago, exhausted,
worn out, our marriage flatlined. Kids,

maybe, maybe not. Both of us
in separate therapies. Not out of love,
nothing left. Dreams helped me.
In the multi-cultural world,
we're multi-cultural. What's more

multi-cultural than marriage?
I've been in love with Karen all my life.
My friend says she's married to herself,
and that makes sense, too. Me, too,
I'm for that. If I'm not in love with me

how can I love Karen? God only knows,
I haven't always loved me. I don't know
a thing about what it's like inside you. Or
your marriage. Or nonmarriage. Sorry
if that offends. I've learned lots from people,

but I can't see what's love
and what isn't. That's ok, too.
We did so many things backwards.
Still do. Swing-sets are Karen's.
She puts things together. And money.

I do toilets, floors, and the kitchen,
poorly. Yard and groceries. I stay home.
Karen likes to get out. Drier quits,
Karen turns it on its side, fixes it.
We hid the dyslexia before it became ours.

I do children, but not telephones.
Karen and I. Both 65. Radical, rooted
stuff. Grace related. Nothing's over.
Nothing's certain. We're a minority.
Lucky, with lucky stars.

Jim Bodeen
21 June 2010

1 comment:

  1. i really like the idea of not knowing what's going on with others, too often people think they do and it's refreshing here. kjm