Mark Doty

(10 August 1953 / Maryville, Tennessee)

The Embrace - Poem by Mark Doty

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 the 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.


Comments about The Embrace by Mark Doty

  • Gold Star - 14,311 Points * Sunprincess * (5/31/2014 9:20:00 AM)

    .............a beautiful tribute to a loved one.... (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
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Read poems about / on: narrative, dream, happiness, grief, house, work, remember



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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