“II” from “Twenty-One Love Poems” by Adrienne Rich

I fell in love with Adrienne Rich's The Dream of a Common Language, and with this poem ("II") from the section "Twenty-One Love Poems," in my late teens. Unabashedly Romantic and sentimental, and progressive and political in its time for its dream that we all might love "openly," it continues to move me with its celebrations of intimacy and poetry, and their connections.
I wake up in your bed. I know I have been dreaming.
Much earlier, the alarm broke us from each other,
you’ve been at your desk for hours. I know what I dreamed:
our friend the poet comes into my room
where I’ve been writing for days,
drafts, carbons, poems are scattered everywhere,
and I want to show her one poem
which is the poem of my life. But I hesitate,
and wake. You’ve kissed my hair
to wake me. I dreamed you were a poem,
I say, a poem I wanted to show someone …
and I laugh and fall dreaming again
of the desire to show you to everyone I love,
to move openly together
in the pull of gravity, which is not simple,
which carries the feathered grass a long way down the upbreathing
air.
this poem was selected by bk, w.c. staff.
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