Unspeakable

Now I come to look at love
in a new way, now that I know I'm not
standing in its light. I want to ask my
almost-no-longer husband what it's like to not
love, but he does not want to talk about it,
he wants a stillness at the end of it.
And sometimes I feel as if, already,
I am not here-to stand in his thirty-year
sight, and not in love's sight,
I feel an invisibility
like a neutron in a cloud chamber buried in a mile-long
accelerator, where what cannot
be seen is inferred by what the visible
does. After the alarm goes off,
I stroke him, my hand feels like a singer
who sings along him, as if it is
his flesh that's singing, in its full range,
tenor of the higher vertebrae,
baritone, bass, contrabass.
I want to say to him, now, What
was it like, to love me-when you looked at me,
what did you see? When he loved me, I looked
out at the world as if from inside
a profound dwelling, like a burrow, or a well, I'd gaze
up, at noon, and see Orion
shining-when I thought he loved me, when I thought
we were joined not just for breath's time,
but for the long continuance,
the hard candies of femur and stone,
the fastnesses. He shows no anger,
I show no anger but in flashes of humor,
all is courtesy and horror. And after
the first minute, when I say, Is this about
her, and he says, No, it's about
you, we do not speak of her.

by Sharon Olds

Other poems of OLDS (34)

Comments (5)

He will come back after being surfeited somewhere else. Till then have peaceful days!
A nice poem to read again and again. Cheers!
I was inspired by the title. I used it to write another poem. please read. 'The true Poet' by: Michael Micmac Mccrory I feel the pain in your poem. you should get at one with titles. A good title can inspire better poetry and vice versa.
good poem...when this kind of thoughts start bothering you....means you are walking on the right path...all d best...for coming storms
This was very good. Just some nit-picks. I think the line would be better as: A car food money. Instead of separate. Also, 'with everything advance I make.' I think you meant to leave out 'thing' from 'everything.' But I gave this a good rating.