Notes From a Marriage

[A possible staging: On the proscenium is a bed. As the audience comes in, two men are spooning on the bed under a sheet. The younger is naked, he never speaks, and is a moving, moaning, prop/device for the other. When the house lights go down, the orator rises from the bed—he is wearing pajama bottoms; he addresses the audience, but uses the bed and his partner as appropriate, stroking, playing with the sheet, kissing, and perhaps climbing upon.]

copyright © 2015 by gavin geoffrey dillard

 

He fell asleep in
the morning
and the birds sang
all day

 

A good slow fuck
and a short dark nap

when we awaken the
neighbors’ calla lilies are
peeking in our
open window

 

He’s half Italian and
half Syrian

dark hairs and
sesame oil
all over my clean
white sheets

 

I crawl into
our relationship
the way an
infant crawls into
an open room

naked and
ready to learn

 

Someone put the
sun in his eyes and the
smile in his face

when I kid him
about it
he insists it was me

 

First time he
called me
honey I
wanted to pour
right in his
glass and
slide on
down
his throat

 

The air around
him hums with
his needs

and me
suffocating with
willingness

 

Naked at last

we can turn
our thoughts to
better things

 

Impatient for
love’s conquest

we both succumbed
before the first
bomb fell

 

He holds out his
hand and my heart
trembles

what kind of wizard is this?

 

These eyes

could tame giants

 

I told him
that I liked
being alone

and he
moved in for the
kill

 

He kissed me when I
wasn’t looking

my eyes have been opened

 

Now we kiss at
every glance

compulsive behavior
at its best

 

When we kiss
again
it’s for the
first time

 

Quiet in
his arms

there’s left
no room
for thought

 

Dents in
the back of
my mind where
parts of his
body fit
like thoughts

 

No one would have
pegged us as the
perfect couple

his smile is so much
bigger than mine

 

Nothing in him
on him
around him to
make me bleed

just an
open heart that
fits me like a
womb

 

No clouds now just a
darkened sky as
evening sets its
turn

I reach for him
gently an
open mouth and
pull out what
is mine

 

His eyes are
windows that
never shut

inviting
storm and
summer breeze

 

Pillows remind me
of him

fat and
full of goose

 

My mind doesn’t
wander anymore

it is content to just
sit and
look at his face as
he reads

 

He peed on my
favorite rose bush

and I thought it would
never stop
blooming

 

He’s so quiet when he
sleeps in
my arms

I could swear I
heard my heart
sigh

 

He has shown me
hunger

real hunger

 

He’s not so
unusual

for an angel

 

Colorful
in his Hawaiian
shirt

I can see him with
my eyes closed

 

His moves are
unique
they will take a
lifetime to
study

when we dance I am
filled with understanding

 

It’s not so hard to
make him smile

time-consuming perhaps
but what else
have I to do?

 

A word of appreciation
for good design

had there been
one more nipple my
heart would have
stopped

 

Giggling with
malice he attacks me
with a small
red hanky

I have never been
so easily felled

 

It’s late

he should be in
bed

and I should be
dreaming

or licking his face

 

Quiet now almost
asleep he
breathes as if
I weren’t even here

I move closer and
pretend to be his dream

 

He sleeps while
I write

as if my thoughts
were lullabies
as if his dreams
were poems

 

Quiet now
sleeping like a
conch shell on
a cotton
beach

I place my
ear to his
opening (the
sea inside) to
hear this
tide that
flows for me

 

He doesn’t talk in
his sleep but I can
tell what he’s
thinking

in the morning I asked if
he had dreamed of me

 

Sometime near the
morning he kissed me as though
he thought I were
still asleep

I prayed that I would
never wake up

 

Then he got a
cold and slept in his
own room and
I thought that the
wall between us would
crumble

 

No better
forecast than
another month of
rain

in his hand he
builds a fire

 

When the rain
started his body
became warmer

winter turns to
spring in my arms

 

At the foot of
the bed his
boxer shorts

like the guttered
wrapper of a fine
Italian creme

 

White flannel sheets
feathered with loose
black hairs

the Italian lover
is unsurpassed

 

He overtakes me like
sleep

my dreams are real

 

Some nights he
lies in bed and
waits for me

other nights his
dreams seduce him
first and only his
body beckons

at those times he
seems to need
me the most

 

I crawl in bed late and
am confronted by
his butt

Good morning I
whisper

and it just smiles

 

I didn’t believe that
he was a real cowboy

but when I climbed
out of bed I
tripped over his
boots

 

He says they call him Sidewinder
at the ranch

in bed he’s as
soft as a
newborn calf

 

I don’t consider it unreasonable for a
man to get into bed wearing his
boots when he’s
busy playing cowboy

 

He wears his
boots two sizes
too big

I’ve never
asked him why

 

At night he’s not
so tough

he breathes like an
infant
and sometimes
wets the bed

 

I can tell when an
angel has visited

in the morning
there are little
pieces of
cloud
stuck to my belly

 

I suppose it
all comes out in
the wash

these crusts of bread
and buttery smiles

 

Slow dancing in a
bedroom sortof
way

neither wants
to lead
we both refuse to
follow

 

It doesn’t take much to
wake him up

just a slap a kiss
and about ten minutes

 

He sleeps so
soundly he doesn’t
stir when I
curl into his arms

I sink my teeth into
his chest

 

In the morning he’s a
nasty beast

caged in my arms

 

He can’t move when
I stroke his
eyebrows

he’s an easy
kill

 

No one told me love
could be this
soft and quiet

when he wakes up I’ll
have my hand over
his mouth

 

He’s not ready for love

I’ll wait

 

His lips
soft
and clean

longing
for my bite

 

With a simple
smile

he can terrorize me

 

I put on a tape of
Beethoven’s 9th (and
longest) symphony

he gets into bed
smiling

 

He’s thin for a
wrestler

it sometimes
takes all my strength
to be pinned

 

Thin arms
like the handle of a
billy club

fists
always ready
for love

 

If he catches me
letting him
win

the game’s
over for
both of us

 

Please let me finish
writing I
interrupted

don’t let me disturb you he
said softly
brushing a
bare butt against the
back of my arm

 

He sits across the room and
eyes me suspiciously

I unwrap my towel and
show him what I’ve been
hiding

 

His lips tremble
when his pants
are down

I pretend to not notice

 

Now he’s pretending he’s a
Siamese cat he
looks at me cross-eyed and
scratches me across
the face (I leap
onto his chest and sink my
teeth into the fur

a Siamese is no
match for the
great domestic shorthair

 

It’s no secret that he
loves me

I beat it out of
him every night

 

His body satisfies
me
five minutes later I’m
anxious again

how many times must
he tell me that he
loves me?

 

He incites me to
violence
when I respond his
body throbs with
excitation

war is sweet

 

I cringe in bed
plotting my escape

helping him
bind my feet

 

He says I’m only
interested in his butt

I wanted to
deny it but my
first thought is to
turn him over
my knee

 

He seems to
do everything he can
to get spanked

I suppose if I had a
butt like his I’d
be the same way

 

His mother used to
scold him for
throwing tantrums

but I just smile and
turn the other cheek

 

This painting I did (of
Bacchus) actually
reminds me of him

the grapes would taste like
his fingers when
I find them in tomorrow’s
dessert

 

He tried to
tell me he was
sorry

but I
spanked him anyway

 

Sensitive
perhaps

or just ornery

 

Sometimes I think he
should be punished for
acting the way
he does

then I think
shit
his butt alone
could get him into heaven

 

He said he wouldn’t
love me if I
didn’t fight back

sure enough
I hit him and he cried

 

No more tears
we promised

and he bit my fist
to see if I could
hold to it

 

You’ll be sorry after
I’m gone he
utters in protest moving
closer to my
fist

I know he’s
right I
never forget a love

 

He doesn’t know me when
I’m angry he
says

he moves closer and
touches me like
a stranger

 

No need to try
to spare feelings

he knows I’m a
big boy

sometimes

 

His smile is mischievous
provocative

he has placed me between
his teeth
and holds me
unswallowed

 

His character is
impeccable in
this

he never smiles
without needing to

 

He doesn’t have to
prove he’s tough

I can see it
in his smile

 

How does he know
that I will never
leave him?

he doesn’t

 

If I left him I would
surely return

it doesn’t take
much to
bring me back

 

Not a chance for a
reconciliation?

absolutely not
he says

smiling

 

Sometimes he doesn’t feel
like having sex

at those times I
love him the most

 

It takes work to
love somebody so thoroughly
that there’s nothing
left over for
later

 

I can’t be with him
around the clock

he says

 

His hands thin
like monkey paws

he peels me like
a pro

 

He runs into the
room brandishing
an erection and
a smile

Your love
or your life!

 

He fell in love with
a picture of me
and I got jealous

 

A wonderful dinner
with friends he
shows off his distended
belly and I
think how nice
it would be to make
him pregnant

 

He’s not all
mine for Christsake

sometimes
he makes me
share him

 

He wanders into my
arms crying

when my shoulder is
thoroughly wet he
backs off (look of
satisfaction on his face

somewhere in his eyes
is a question that
has already been
answered

 

When I anger him
he goes to sleep

it always changes me

 

I don’t cry anymore when
he hits me

it only makes him stop

 

Bloodthirsty

angels have teeth

 

Hands on
his hips like
a Victorian vase

I could pick him up
and drink his
wrath

 

How beautiful when
he pouts
arms crossed and
butt sticking out

how can I
be serious my
hands on his
waist

 

It’s not like
I’m ever really
mean to him

I mean
what’s the point
he just cries?

 

I socked him and he
just smiled

it ruined my whole day

 

Heartless
at times

he is forced to
contain my love
in some of the
strangest places

 

If angels
haven’t hearts

what has he
where my
love should be?

 

He thinks when I smile
I am fooled by his words

I am merely
enjoying
his lies

 

Puss has eyes like his
wild and dark

ready for attack
even when he’s
purring

 

He is not
without
his faults

I have
savored every one

 

Last night we held
each other and cried

mutual pain brings fulfillment

 

Someday I’ll miss

these grumpy smiles

 

Betrayed

by a
stiff white towel

 

Crime
reaches the bedroom

in the form
of indifference

 

Socked in
on a rainy
afternoon

outside the
sun is heartless

 

I would give
the hair off my body
to bring laughter
to his
sullen face

 

His eyes
wet
and black

here is a storm I
cannot escape

 

The clock ticks
louder when
he’s gone

smells in the bed
collect memories

 

His arms
are delicate

when he’s gone
they leave a
shadow on the sheets

 

Sometimes I can
miss him
and not even
remember what he
looks like

but when I
look at him it is
always easy to
remember how
I missed him

 

No use
wondering where the
warmth has
gone

better to just
cry and wait for
winter to
set in

 

Someone moves the
earth beneath my
feet

and catches all
the feelings there
that fall

 

Damn this
unwanted silence
between us

who will be the first
to scream?

 

Is there something
that I haven’t
said?

 

No poems now

just bruises

 

Can’t think of any
better way to
part with love than to
leave it with a
promise to return

it’s so
easy someone
said

 

Leaving him won’t
be so hard

I know he’ll
need to see me
again

 

So we kiss on
each other’s
tears

what’s a little pain
among friends?

 

And I can be a
better husband now that
we have given
back the
rings

nothing now to keep us
apart
nothing more to
prove nothing
left to
lose nothing
binding but the
circle of our
hearts

 

Thank you for a
wonderful marriage he
says
I won’t cry if
you won’t

goodbye
goodbye

must be dust
in my eye

 

In his eyes there’s
something that
never moves

it’s a reflection of
me
unchanged as I
rise and fall

 

In years I
may forget

this
chubby little
dream

 

I’ll visit he says
and I’m sure he will

in time

 

I pose to him
a hundred
questions

he gives me one
simple undeniable
answer.