Two Epithalamions


“This marriage, a moon in a light-blue sky.”

Two warriors, one man,
one woman, left home

in search of the other.
They return to us now,

two faces
beaming light.

Jim Bodeen
12 February 2013

            for Terry and Jane

“Nothing holds still in this endless process of sincerity.
It is possessed always of a restless hunger.”
        —David Hinton, Hunger Mountain

Once in a room named after a rattlesnake
Terry and I lit a clay pipe filled with Mountain Smoke
passing the pipe between us talking of desire.
Karen’s dad had given her rattlers
in a jewelry box we kept in the kitchen junk drawer
for 30 years. We moved, and moving changed
everything. My jeweler placed the rattles
in an assemblage and hung it on the wall
to ward off evil. About the same time,
Jane hired a man with truck and crane
to bring a broken piece of andesite,
a million year old rock—they dropped it in our front yard
to anchor us in our beginnings.
Last week the law changed
and here we are, assembled
adding 27 years of love to the weight of justice
in a simple act of saying yes.
Every gesture in the poem is wild
and we find ourselves bewildered again.
Isn’t this wild, we say, as if we were part of the poem,
like we are part of this marriage,
new, beginning, like Terry once said,
amateurs, from the root ama, to love,
lovers beginning. Isn’t this wild!
What we talk about when we talk about love.
What don’t we talk about is more like it,
imagining this poor, humble word, marriage,
made new in vows,
before the community according to law.

Jim Bodeen



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