Spring 1997 • Vol. XIX No. 2 Poetry |

Husband and Wife

1 I woke up and found you above me—your face peering down through shadows, your hair sweeping slowly across my chest, your voice crying out a name in the darkness, my name, just once, as if it had been pulled out of you from a great distance, from oblivion itself, as if a rib had been carved from my side and given back in your shape, as if we were two halves of one body—a cell, an egg floating in water, a new being gathering force like a storm (wind-tossed, tossing the wind) until the rain seeding the clouds and the thunder bloating the sky could stand it no longer and we burst forth in a wild flood. 2 Then we were falling away from each other, breaking apart, tearing ourselves loose from a cupped palm and putting on our torsos, our limbs, our separate distinguishable selves. The ecstasy—the oneness—was unbearable and so we expelled ourselves, who had tasted the fruit, who had discovered our nakedness … I woke up and found you lying next to me, already

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Edward Hirsch
Edward Hirsch is the winner of many awards, fellowships, and other honors, including Guggenheim, NEA, Delmore Schwartz Memorial, and the National Book Circle Award. He has published numerous books of poetry, most recently Gabriel: A Poem.

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That’s the Job

By Edward Hirsch

1 I woke up and found you above me—your face peering down through shadows, your hair sweeping slowly across my chest, your voice crying out a name in the darkness, […]

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