Winter 1996 • Vol. XVIII No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1996 |

To the Absent Wife of the Beautiful Poet at the Writers’ Conference

I know that nothing happened, and everything that might have is now sewn into the hoop of Arizona sky that stretched above our heads that shy evening of talk when we left our books and went out to read the papery news of bougainvillea. Here was vegetation more animal than plant, the dangerous spine of cactus, its fleshy stem and thistle, and those rubbery tongues lolling speechless in the desert air where even domestic herbs turn wild, parsley and dill spilling over their planned containers. When your husband broke off a piece of rosemary and held it out to me, I smelled the sharp clean scent of marriage, the scent that fills my loved world three time zones away. My garden, the spotted cat and aged brandy, the bed pillow minted with the imprint of my husband's head. Yet I confess that part of me wanted to take, in that moment, the man you more than half-made, knowing that what I love most in married men is what is given by wives. The elbow he leans upon is your elb

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.
Rebecca McClanahan
Rebecca McClanahan has published ten books of nonfiction, poetry, and writing instruction. Recipient of the Wood Prize from Poetry Magazine, a Pushcart Prize, and the Glasgow Award for nonfiction, McClanahan teaches in the MFA programs of Queens University–Charlotte and Ranier Writing Workshop. She was the 2015 writer in residence at Hollins University. 

Website:
www.RebeccaMcClanahanWriter.com

Read More

Sacrament

By Rebecca McClanahan

I know that nothing happened, and everything that might have is now sewn into the hoop of Arizona sky that stretched above our heads that shy evening of talk when […]

Communion

By Rebecca McClanahan

I know that nothing happened, and everything that might have is now sewn into the hoop of Arizona sky that stretched above our heads that shy evening of talk when […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.