A poem for Sunday
Of what are you afraid? Not a bomb. In Dar es Salaam the men,
with guns as long as arms, bent under the car to check
for a ticking and you did not even flinch. Not of snow,
when in New Hampshire a white storm blanketed
the car in minutes and the highway transformed into
a blinding afterlife, skid red, and sightless sounds of metal colliding.
Not of dark, when the motorcycle’s headlight burned out
in the dead of night as we wound down a volcano’s steep body,
the road’s rocky jaw dropping to a rough sea, the free fall inches
from our feet. We fought. Years later, you said
the difference between the two of us was that I always
thought someone was coming to save me.
You said, Meg, if you pull over to the side of the volcano,
an angel will be dispatched, a donkey and a husband and a stable will appear.
If you stop the car in the blizzard, three wise men show up.
If your face moves when they search for bombs, you aren’t mistaken for one.
You said, No one is coming to save me.
You said, I save myself.
I said, okay.
I said, if you are the bomb then I am the bait.
I said, if I am saved by three wise men, what will this cost me?
Will I have to drop to my knees?
Because no man gives salvation away for free.
But I said none of this. Because when I heard No one is coming to save me,
I held you close like a good woman. Like all the women before me
who know what destroys and remakes, and what is destroyed in the remaking.