‘Item I gyve unto my wife my second best bed…’
(from Shakespeare’s will)
The bed we loved in was a spinning world
of forests, castles, torchlight, clifftops, seas
where he would dive for pearls. My lover’s words
were shooting stars which fell to earth as kisses
on these lips; my body now a softer rhyme
to his, now echo, assonance; his touch
a verb dancing in the centre of a noun.
Some nights, I dreamed he’d written me, the bed
a page beneath his writer’s hands. Romance
and drama played by touch, by scent, by taste.
In the other bed, the best, our guests dozed on,
dribbling their prose. My living laughing love –
I hold him in the casket of my widow’s head
as he held me upon that next best bed.
This poem makes me cry every time. How it captures the soul mating connection of unique love. Every sense here rejoices in the rhapsody of the beloved’s bodily presence. You are my world and you are my words. The poem gifts the beloved with the enduring compliment of love’s knoweldge. How we long to be known. To be held, completely.
‘My living, laughing love.’ Carol Ann Duffy’s most miraculous line. Love’s possession is liberated by the dancing present participle which skips along,deliciously celebratory, carrying the beloved into eternity…
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