previous poem table of contents next poem


Alison Stone




My husband makes himself invisible to me.

He says I cannot see his face,

it is forbidden.


Alone in the palace, I scent my hair with rose petals.

Singing to myself, I watch the birds

fly in their bars.


It was exciting at first, not knowing.

Strange flesh against my flesh and a desire

that went beyond the seen.


For that is marriage—an agreement to follow love

into blindness, to allow the hidden god

or monster to stay veiled.


So many nights he stays away.

I cradle the cup of my aloneness

so it will not spill.


Our moments of contact sustain me, bodies

pressed so close we have one skin,

each pore an eye, open.


The voices of my sisters twitter and poke.

If he were beautiful, why hide?

What beast may swell from his seed?


I am too human. Need grows inside me

like the child I both crave and fear:

the need to see, to be seen.


For now, I accept the contract.

I love him in ignorance,

wait patiently, obey.


Lucky nights he returns with the moon

and creeps into bed.

We touch in the dark.


But I know what will come.

I will wound him with light and he will fly from me in anger

carrying my heart.