Marriage is a new way of telling time
against chronology. It is the end
of please rewritten in indigo ink
on the tip of our tongues. It is how thanks
will paint all of the hospital walls blue
in our newborn dreams of dying alone.
It is light that stags the doe in transit
through the underbrush and brings her to still
herself at the snapped twigs scrunched underfoot.
It is bunny hop and a pocket watch
that will travel through dresser drawers unused
until one day it finds itself become
heirloom and shining. It is a promise
that calls into question the visible
colors of the ultraviolet spectrum.
It cattails the breeze in marshland evenings
and smacks the warble out of the red-winged
blackbird’s beak that serenades our footsteps.
It is, in fact, done with all serenades,
all indigos, all vaults and vestibules
of autumns reimagined on leaf stems.
It’s as useful as knowing how to change
a car battery or a toilet’s chain.
It is the most unromantic knowledge
of the greening need at the heart of so
much aging ahead. It’s: “I no longer
mind cleaning the bathroom sink tonight.”
It’s you switching your toothpaste brand to mine
without hesitation. It’s the word help
become holy, memorized as a prayer.
It’s what most outwalks us when we walk out
the door together into days laddered,
like the fine blue lines on loose leaf paper,
with the things we are supposed to do now
that we are who we are supposed to be.
Dante Di Stefano earned his PhD in creative writing from SUNY at Binghamton. His poetry and essays have appeared recently in The Writer’s Chronicle, Shenandoah, Brilliant Corners, and elsewhere. He was the winner of the Thayer Fellowship in the Arts, the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award, the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, the Phyllis Smart-Young Prize in Poetry, the Bea González Prize in Poetry, and an Academy of American Poets College Prize.