Poem Hunter
The Embrace
(10 August 1953 / Maryville, Tennessee)

The Embrace

Poem By Mark Doty

You weren't well or really ill yet either;
just a little tired, your handsomeness
tinged by grief or anticipation, which brought
to your face a thoughtful, deepening grace.

I didn't for a moment doubt you were dead.
I knew that to be true still, even in the dream.
You'd been out--at work maybe?--
having a good day, almost energetic.

We seemed to be moving from some old house
where we'd lived, boxes everywhere, things
in disarray: that was the story of my dream,
but even asleep I was shocked out of the narrative

by your face, the physical fact of your face:
inches from mine, smooth-shaven, loving, alert.
Why so difficult, remembering the actual look
of you? Without a photograph, without strain?

So when I saw your unguarded, reliable face,
your unmistakable gaze opening all the warmth
and clarity of you--warm brown tea--we held
each other for the time the dream allowed.

Bless you. You came back, so I could see you
once more, plainly, so I could rest against you
without thinking this happiness lessened anything,
without thinking you were alive again.

User Rating: 3,4 / 5 ( 39 votes ) 6

Comments (6)

Well expressed thoughts and feelings. An insightful work of art. Thanks for sharing, Mark. Remain enriched.
A meaningful and thought provoking soliloquy. with steadily flowing emotions. Thanks for sharing.10 points.
Excellent excellent writing. It is like we are overhearing his thoughts- not like he is busily constructing poetry for an outsider to read- -very natural flow and bears such confusion, such pain, such love, such a search for truth
Nice thought provoking poem...Why so difficult, remembering the actual look of you? Without a photograph, without strain?
To embrace the muse of love and to respect nature. Thanks for sharing.