What was it that descended
upon him in our marriage bed
while he held me in his arms
so that he suddenly remembered you?
He cried uncontrollably with remorse
and then he would do no more
than hug and kiss me.
I have no illusions now.
He is like wood that won’t burn.
Have you seen the flames
licking with desperation,
the wood blackening on the outside,
the core untouched and cold?
It doesn’t move.
It doesn’t fall to ash.
But I am condemned
to admiration of such faithfulness.
to admire rejection
See what a riddle we have spun.
I have no hope
if I do not want him to change.
Forever you are the sound,
I am the echo.
(Originally appeared in Dogwood 2002)