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A Benediction Of The Air

 In every presence there is absence.
When we're together, the spaces between Threaten to enclose our bodies And isolate our spirits.
The mirror reflects what we are not, And we wonder if our mate Suspects a fatal misreading Of our original text, Not to mention the dreaded subtext.
Reality, we fear, mocks appearance.
Or is trapped in a hall of mirrors Where infinite regress prevents A grateful egress.
That is, We can never know the meaning Of being two-in-one, Or if we are one-in-two.
What-I-Am is grieved at What-I'm-Not.
What-We-Should-Be is numbed by What-We-Are.
Yes, I'm playing word games With the idea of marriage, Musing over how even we can Secularize Holy wedlock.
Or to figure it another way, To wonder why two televisions In the same house seem natural symbols Of the family in decline.
Yet you are present to me now.
I sense you keenly, at work, Bending red in face to reach A last defiant spot of yellow On those horrific kitchen cabinets.
Your honey hair flecked with paint; Your large soft hidden breasts Pushing down against your shirt.
The hemispheres of those buttocks Curving into uncompromising hips.
To embrace you would be to take hold Of my life in all its substance.
Without romance, I say that if I were to deconstruct myself And fling the pieces at random, They would compose themselves Into your shape.
But I guess that is romantic, The old mystification- Cramming two bodies Into a single space.
Amen! Our separation has taught me That, dwelling in mind, The corporeality Of mates has spiritual mass Which may be formulated: Memory times desire over distance Yields a bodying forth.
Thus I project into the Deadly space between us A corposant,Pulsating a language That will cleave to you In the coolness of sleep With insubstantiality So fierce as to leave its dampness On the morning sheets, Or so gentle As to fan your brow While you paint the kitchen.
A body like a breath, Whispering the axiom By which all religions are blessed: In every absence there is presence.
Bene Bene Benedictus.

Poem by John Williams
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