ollin and I are celebrating our third anniversary. Earlier this year, I wrote the below poem for Collin. I’ve been writing quite a lot of poetry lately. Perhaps because I read and edit essays all day, my words are coming in more concise forms. I don’t yet trust the Internet with my poetry, which is embarrassingly simple and, I believe, needs much refining before it’s presentable. This one is quite straightforward, so I’m going to share it.
I’m conflicted also about how to represent our marriage online. Social media have created a climate of extreme sentiment and celebration. Those are good parts of the human experience, but they aren’t everything. I fear that all the smiley, sweet photos of us present a distorted impression of our marriage. It’s dark and very difficult at times. I think you can hear even in this poem that it’s a lovely but solemn business. I’m thankful that the best things in life are too complex to be represented online, and as with my poetry, the few people whose presence in our life is more real and constant than a screen can capture—they are familiar with all the shades of our life, and walk with us. With those thoughts now unburdened from my mind, here’s an image of marriage that caught my imagination:
There’s an impression on my finger now
even when it’s bare,
when the ring’s rested in its dish by the sink.
Two hard horizontal lines—and a darker blush between.
One quarter of an inch,
where a symbol you had made—
yellow gold and diamonds,
blessed in the name of the Trinity
(that one strangely sacred hour)—
marks a bind to one another,
a transcendent covenant,
an impression on the world.