“The marital ghetto is the human equivalent of a balanced aquarium, where the fish and the plants manage to live indefinitely off each otherâ€™s waste products.â€
Michael Vincent Miller, Intimate Terrorism: The Crisis of Love in an Age of Disillusion
Romance, that tired old nag, died years ago.
We visit graveside when we can,
bring offerings of flowers, candles, scented oils,
and books on intimate massage
to conjure up its almost-present ghost.
I last felt its unbidden presence this past spring
after the ambulance and before the second surgery,
crouched in a hospital bathroom
holding a screwtop jar for my wife to piss in.
And cleaning off my hands I knew I was in love.
It’s no soft-focus 30-second TV spot,
and “be my symbiont” will never grace a greeting card
but it’s our way, and for ourselves it’s true.