True Love

October 30, 2007
By Emily Broderick, New Market, MD

They made love
without a care or a worry
and never a word to marriage
for that would take away from it somehow
because love was given and received
freely as the sun and the grass.

They say you must truly love someone
to find them beautiful when they’re asleep
and he thinks it’s true as he looks at her
form, naked, in recline.
Like this, he can see
how her breasts sag across her chest,
flattening to nearly under her arms.
And he can see the heaviness of her hips and thighs.
Her legs are becoming varicose,
the wrinkles around her eyes
can no longer be laughed off as laugh lines
Her face looks dead, all emotion gone.
People tell him that one looks younger in sleep,
but no - they look simply corpselike to him
pale, immobile, and unlikely to ever move again.
He resists the urge to leave the room
for a shower that will wash all trace
and scent and touch of her away.

She wakes up to find the bed empty.
She is unsurprised.

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