At my wedding, at the beautiful, center hall Creole cottage in Treme that we were lucky enough to live in when we moved to New Orleans, my friend read a poem by Kenneth Patchen that summed up some of what I hoped for from marriage, things which I had felt in the years with my wife that preceded our wedding, that provoked our engagement.
In the years since, when I struggled to come home and forget the troubles of daily life - work, the day's news, storms, violence - I would try to remember, "We are shut in, secure for a little, safe until tomorrow," savor this. Sometimes it worked.
23rd Street Runs into Heaven
You stand near the window as lights wink
On along the street. Somewhere a trolley, taking
Shop-girls and clerks home, clatters through
This before-supper Sabbath. An alley cat cries
To find the garbage cans sealed; newsboys
Begin their murder-into-pennies round.
We are shut in, secure for a little, safe until
Tomorrow. You slip your dress off, roll down
Your stockings, careful against runs. Naked now,
With soft light on soft flesh, you pause
For a moment; turn and face me -
Smile in a way that only women know
Who have lain long with their lover
And are made more virginal.
Our supper is plain but we are very wonderful.