[Poem] For A Long Marriage

For A Long Marriage

By Kit Hodge

For J.D.

The sultry salt of spring drips open the sky,

A night bloom of whispered words ready to be believed again:

Fall back in love,

Fall back in love, my dear


I couldn’t hear you, not this American, twisted up in the western wind–

A cheap plastic pawn sucked into a dizzying occlusion over that 

black square–

the empty summer slogans—SCREAM—and 

false, flea-ripe fog of winter that followed close behind—

Breathlessly dark,


breathless–in those suffocating slogans.

It wasn’t weather. Weather is real, my love.

And we weren’t ready to be void, not while this sky still swoons above

Our hips tried to tell us–our shriveled skin, our eyes, too–

that primordial crawl to milk and life, the 

thunderous pain of being still;

This is the only way back now: 


lick the salt sweet,

and sweat our frozen veins,

into the roots that 

bud from our beautiful, premature 


After all, all of this is here, too. All this 


sky. All this

Bud and rot and 


itching our ears and skin

All this 

promise of words and 


and long rambles drifting into the night with a stranger, 

pillow enemies no more

under this breaking 

spring sky

But only if we dare to believe again, love–

dream and whisper our hope, that wrinkled Gunga Din–

sing it across this old cold front burial ground tonight, 

lightning breaking open our mouths, strike after 



Fall back in love, America

Fall back in love, my dear

We’re not so old yet and spring is long this year.