Ninth Month : Robert Lowell

For weeks, now months, the year in burden goes,
a happiness so slow burning, it is lasting;
our animated nettles are black slash
by August. Today I leaned through lunch on my elbows,
watching my nose bleed red lacquer on the grass;
I see, smell and taste blood in everything—
I almost imagine your experience mine.
This year by miracle, you’ve jumped from 38
to 40, joined your elders who can judge:
woman has never forgiven man her blood.
Sometimes the indictment dies in your forgetting.
You move on crutches into your ninth month,
you break things now almost globular—
love in your fullness of flesh and heart and humor.

-part 11 in Marriage from The Dolphin


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