Since there are only so many years of life,
and since the proportion decreases as we go,
I would not have you, dear forty-two years wife,
be less beautiful now for what we know
will happen soon as part of the general plan,
an aspect of the short term ebb and flow
that constitutes our fevered quotidian.
How odd that flesh, the very thing we treat
as self, should be so fickle a companion,
no sooner arrived then rushing off to meet
its end, turning its back on the lost hour
that it can no longer account for or complete.
How sweet to have been drenched under its shower
of endless minutes. How good that we could hold
each other as hot water gushed full power
and soaked us through, and after, when a cold
hand moved inside our bones as a reminder
of our gift and brief, it wasn’t what was sold
as death but something infinitely kinder.
Here’s where we stand, our rendezvous with time,
our blind date, ever ready, ever blinder.
It is our 42nd wedding anniversary today. I always celebrate such occasions with a poem. This is a draft that may be redrafted, it has a part 2 that certainly needs redrafting. Today we go to London. At 2:30 I make a podcast with Jo Shapcott and Christopher Blake for Granta about the Titian poems, and this evening we will be at the National Gallery for the dinner to celebrate the opening of the Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 show. Kind of them to fix it on our anniversary date!