Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MARRIAGE (1), by TIMOTHY LIU

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE MARRIAGE (1), by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: The season's leaves half over at their peak
Subject(s): Eurydice (nymph); Mythology - Classical; Orpheus

The season's leaves half over at their peak
as we drive down the hill. Or else we have
no darkness, no sentence to begin with --
marriage an engine full of mileage
while lovers wander naked through the woods
with Polaroids, close-ups of their faces
emerging from dark squares like Eurydice
just before Orpheus turned to look --

which is why I ask you to take me
from the rear, one hand choking my neck
with a silk scarf, the other clamping
down on my hip as you ride up and down
so hard on a motel bed our bodies
enter myth. And for the first time in years
I model for the charcoal lines you draw,
holding myself more still than breath allows --

and what shame there ever was comes
rushing back to inhabit whatever form
we can give to it. Let me chariot
your bones into the sun that crimsons
every leaf caught under these crude wheels --
a coarse rope taut against the harness
of delight, your muscled flanks that pull
desire's thread through the needle's eye --

Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org

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