Startling Poetry: This Marriage

Thought I’d offer another one of my poems this time. Enjoy!


This Marriage by Robin L. Martinez


What is this marriage

that’s sprung from the ground

of our wedding?

Long after the wedding dress has been

wadded into a garment bag, it’s

edges yellowing and crystallizing;

the cake has passed through the wedding guests;

the flowers have withered to brown husks;

the life we dreamed that breathless afternoon

has succumbed on the trail of

loaded diapers, exhausted bank accounts,

grimed countertops, mangled nerves.

Our fingers have shriveled inside our wedding rings,

though neither of us has climbed over fifty.

It’s as if the flesh has dissolved, shrunk away from

what have become handcuffs in miniature.


Our fights resemble a falling tree –

all force on one side,

all folding on the other.

Sex has turned to weak tea –

tepid and flavorless.


Every word from your mouth is sand in my wounds –

They worm their way into the muscle, sit there

grating the flesh.

Every look from my eyes exits on a path of ice.

All those forgotten birthdays and anniversaries;

all those ridiculed dinners;

the condescension and unending expectation.

These things settle around my feet like dead leaves.

Individually they mean so little when sifted with

exploratory fingers.

But they compact and suck up moisture, grow heavier the longer they

lay on the ground of our marriage.

until a swamp lies between us.


But still we claw through the muck to reach each other.

Still we wipe composted goo from our eyes to fix on that

dream we had when I wore white and the flowers were fresh.


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