English poetry

Poems in English

The Embrace

The Embrace

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 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.



Poem The Embrace - Mark Doty