I’m a serious poetry lover. So April aka National Poetry Month is pretty much my favorite month of the year. Last week, I spotlighted Robert Hass’s poem, “Happiness,” and I’m excited to share a new poem with you today.
This week’s poem comes from the late, great Adrienne Rich. Rich was a hugely influential feminist poet, probably most well known for her piece, “Diving Into the Wreck.” The poem below, however, comes from her collection of poems, “Twenty-One Love Poems.” They are a sensual exploration and celebration of the love between two women. Rich, who was married to a man and had children, spent the later part of her life with her longtime partner, Michelle Cliff. In 2012, Rich passed away, but her beautiful poetry is still very much alive. Enjoy
Across a city from you, I’m with you
just as an August night
moony, inlet – warm, seabathed, I watched you sleep,
the scrubbed, sheenless wood of the dressing – table
cluttered with our brushes, books, vials in the moonlight -
or a salt – mist orchard, lying at your side
watching red sunset through the screendoors of the cabin,
G minor Mozart on the tape – recorder,
falling asleep to the music of the sea.
This island of Manhattan is wide enough
of both of us, and narrow:
I can hear your breath tonight, I know how your face
lies upturned, the halflight tracing
your generous, delicate mouth
where grief and laughter sleep together.