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

  • (2/8/2016 10:29:00 PM)


    A meaningful and thought provoking soliloquy. with steadily flowing emotions. Thanks for sharing.10 points. (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Susan Williams (2/8/2016 4:09:00 PM)


    Excellent excellent writing. It is like we are overhearing his thoughts- not like he is busily constructing poetry for an outsider to read- -very natural flow and bears such confusion, such pain, such love, such a search for truth (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (2/8/2016 3:43:00 AM)


    Nice thought provoking poem...Why so difficult, remembering the actual look
    of you? Without a photograph, without strain?
    (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (2/8/2016 12:52:00 AM)


    To embrace the muse of love and to respect nature. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • (5/31/2014 9:20:00 AM)


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

Read all 5 comments »



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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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