Maxine Kumin: After Love

There is no shortage of love poetry in this world. In fact, in my mission to post a poem a day during National Poetry Month, I’ve certainly posted my fair share. From the metaphysical to the realistic, poets love writing about love. The problem is that of all those love poems in the world, a healthy does of them are really, really, really bad.

That’s why it’s so refreshing to read Maxine Kumin’s “After Love.” Short and to the point, Kumin approaches, in the tiny little details, what a life is after love has ceased to be.

After Love

Afterward, the compromise.
Bodies resume their boundaries.
These legs, for instance, mine.
Your arms take you back in.
Spoons of our fingers, lips
admit their ownership.
The bedding yawns, a door
blows aimlessly ajar
and overhead, a plane
singsongs coming down.
Nothing is changed, except
there was a moment when
the wolf, the mongering wolf
who stands outside the self
lay lightly down, and slept.

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