Husband, wife, lover, friend—forests, seas, houses

We are more than our bodies, and our lover’s bodies are more than their hands, more than their breathing in sleep. What is/was your lover’s or your spouse’s body to you? Was it a table spread out for a feast, for you alone or for a town? Was it a cardboard box that wouldn’t keep out the rain or cold? Was it a forest filled with spiderwebs and poison oak? Did you wander in there anyway, lost and itching for a decade? Was it a cathedral that rose-colored the light you saw with? 

For inspiration, look at the first line from Danielle Mitchell’s  “Imposter & Imposter” poem: “A husband is a labyrinth, made of trees that clones themselves into forests.” 

Or write of a friend’s body or that of a sibling. Was that body a lighthouse for your ship, the Lassie to you trapped in a well, or a birthday card you never sent?

Here is another line from Danielle Mitchell—this one from the poem “Assembling the Brother” : “My older brother is a conveyer, revolving back to the thing that most deserts him, the woman.”

Or write about a parent’s body. Was your father’s shoulders the tree you climbed to see the world from? Was your mother’s face your daily weather forecast?

If you like the lines I borrowed from Danielle, buy her book makes the daughter-in-law cry from the publisher Tebot Bach or another bookseller. I loved it. And check out her website.