Now that it’s legal for us to marry
I wonder if you and I have become glass:
We’re there—but maybe not—
transparent unless held up to the light
turned so the glow from some lamp glances off
to show us all those years ago
in bed falling asleep holding hands
in our kitchen leaning together as you stir a pot
in our living room dancing in bare feet
sitting on the floor outside our toddler’s room
because it’s 2 a.m., he won’t stop crying,
all the books say let him cry until he falls asleep.
We last a whole five minutes before barging in.
I pick him up, you curl around us both
and together we sing him to sleep.
If some stranger should come close enough
to brush a hand against the thin sheet of our lives
he might catch on the moment
we arrived home from the doctor to see
every ceramic pot you ever brought to life (except one)
on the floor in pieces, probably knocked off the table
by our cat who inspected them after you left them there
because we were late for the appointment
where the doctor said your cancer had come back.
You picked up that last pot, held it so long I thought:
it’s ok. she’s handling this
then threw it down to smash
shards skittering across the tile.
You leaned on the tabletop, inhaled.
I was thankful to be there to hold tight
as you shook in my arms
on that day 22 years before
we could marry
three months before
you were dead.
We all die.
Every love that doesn’t end
in argument ends in death.
Yet I can’t help but worry:
What will happen to we
who were forbidden
Generations of our families
have already been wiped clean
from time. Will you and I become
another glass shattered?
Will all our pieces be left behind?
~ Diane Silver
Diane Silver is an activist and journalist. Her work has appeared in Ms, The Progressive, and other venues. Her latest books are Your Daily Shot of Hope vol. 1 (Meditations for an Age of Despair) and vol. 2 (Meditations on Awakening). You can find her at www.DianeSilver.net and @DianeSilver
Monthly Editor Maril Crabtree’s poems have been published in I-70 Review, Coal City Review, Main Street Rag, and others. Her book Fireflies in the Gathering Dark (Aldrich Press, 2017) is a Kansas Notable Book and Thorpe Menn Award finalist.