Poems To Love Smarter


Poems To Love Smarter
It's not the words you say to your lover, it's how you say them, your tone, the look on your face.

I Married You by Linda Pastan in Queen of a Rainy Country,
W. W. Norton & Company.

I married you
for all the wrong reasons,
charmed by your
dangerous family history,
by the innocent muscles, bulging
like hidden weapons
under your shirt,
by your naive ties, the colors
of painted scraps of sunset.
I was charmed too
by your assumptions
about me: my serenity —
that mirror waiting to be cracked,
my flashy acrobatics with knives
in the kitchen.
How wrong we both were
about each other,
and how happy we have been.

Modern Love by Jan Beatty, in Boneshaker
University of Pittsburgh Press

Early evening, five minutes before
you’re due home, I slam the dishes
in the dishwasher, squeeze rivers
of 409 onto the kitchen floor and
counters, smear it white with too many
paper towels, check the clock, listen
for the doorbell of your arriving—
Love, this is not my dreamscape
my answer to romance’s longing—but Love,
still I grab old food from the refrigerator and sail it into the
trash, call for
take-out with the breathy voice of
a woman in want—burritos again,
with enough jalapeño to make our eyes
water; Strange new world this shape
of our love: the details of our lives
stacked in piles of tabloids, month-
old pretzels in their lonely bag, and yes,
the paint peeling off the porch since spring,
no time now to wash the clothes. I do
the only thing a woman in love can:
clear papers off the bed with a wide sweep,
slide in the video, pour the soft drinks,
so we can eat in our element, our little city;
so we can tear open time to find the heart,
heart enough for us to fill our bellies and
fill our bodies with each other until
we surface to ourselves again, until we’re
the only ones here tonight, and the look
in your eyes looking at me is the beautiful
sight, and my only complaints are two:
that I didn’t make myself ready
for you sooner in life, that
I can’t give better,
Love you more.

When we first meet with a couple, we take a full 2 hours to get a deeper understanding of what they're struggling with. And sometimes we'll pick a poem like one of those above to show them we understand.

Andre Moore, M.A., Director of Marriage Couples Counseling and Life Coaching in New York City http://www.marriage-couples-counseling-new-york.com/


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