Fall 2014 • Vol. XXXVI No. 4 NonfictionOctober 1, 2014 |

Foliage

Eighteen years with a man I'd once credited with having saved me from losing myself—a man who still, despite increasing estrangement, comes the closest to what I'd call a soul mate. Then almost six years with a man whose sexual prowess, and respect for mine—and to be fair, his kindness—for a long time held at bay my growing impatience with—what, his stability? His predictability? Is that why I left him for a nine-month roller-coaster of a relationship with a charismatic, binge-drinking alcoholic whose recklessness I sometimes confused with the heroic, but sometimes saw—correctly—as the mask for a vulnerability that kept winning me over, until at last it didn't? "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make," the Beatles once said. Maybe that's true. All I know is that, at fifty-four, I find myself single for the first time in my adult life. The dog looks up at me. I look up to the lithograph that hangs above my fireplace. I bought it at an auction,

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.
Carl Phillips
Carl Phillips is the author of thirteen books of poems, most recently Reconnaissance (FSG, 2015). He teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.

Read More

Of California

By Carl Phillips

Eighteen years with a man I'd once credited with having saved me from losing myself—a man who still, despite increasing estrangement, comes the closest to what I'd call a soul […]

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.