Last Night And This Morning - Poem by Max Reif
In the aesthetic symmetry
Of last night’s domestic tiff,
We sat at the glass coffee-table
On the white, right-angled sofas
In our beautiful living room,
Preparing to read aloud from
Our friend’s new book of poems.
Opening the book, you mentioned
My fingerprint smudging the page.
In that milieu of heightened
Language and aesthetics,
We were off on a linguistic
Battle of our own.
Who knows whether I was right
To belabor your few words
With my feeling that they betrayed
Strong resentments you bore within?
Your words’ prints on the air,
Like my finger marks on the page,
I’m not equipped to read.
My memory, playing back
Our verbal parries and thrusts
Finds blurred ambiguity
In everything that ensued.
Emotion was leading the blind,
Something inside us both
Stirred by your trifling comment
And my equally brief reply.
After enduring the pain
That always comes in the train
Of a lovers’ quarrel like this,
The burning became too much
And our hearts began their journey
Back to each other again.
Curious how, in healing,
Though our words began at odds,
Their rhythm brought us together
As last night’s led us apart.
I got your e-mail this morning
With its pink, exuberant hearts
Gushing like a symphony
And I pour back the Music to you.
“May we learn from this! ” is my prayer—
One that I know you share.
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