January 9: “The Couple”

A Greek ship
Sails on the sea
Carrying me past
The islands
Into an unknown
Island where
The burros
Are sleeping, houses
Are white, and brown
Honey is sold in
The general store. That’s
Me up on the hill,
Living with the
Man I’m going
To marry– there
We are– he plays
The violin
But never practices,
I fold and unfold
The nylon blouses
I brought from
America and put
Them neatly in
A drawer. It is
Time to go out.
We explore the island
And at the same time
Argue about
Getting married.
We walk close to
The sea, which happens
To knock our eyes
Out with its blue. An
Old lady, call her a
Witch, passes us by and
Asks us the way to
The post office.
We continue on the rocks,
Walking by the sea. “I bet
We look married,” I say,
And turn my eyes from
The sea. “Only to
An old lady
Going to mail
Letters at the post
Office,” he replies.
And begins to weep.
Not one snorkel
Will float
Us under the sea,
To the schools of fish
Who are enjoying
Their mateless
Existence, or
Take us away from
Our troubles. The
Young girl folds
Up her blouses and
Begins to pack.
The young man
Picks up his fiddle
And places it
Back into
The imitation
Alligator case.
The island
Now is sinking
Beneath the blue sea.
The life plot thickens.
We have forgotten
Our footsteps.
We must
Cover them up
The post office.

— Sandra Hochman


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