Just a day late to celebrate the birth of Edward Hopper, July 22nd, 1882.
2. Excursion into Philosophy
He has been reading the Tractatus, Wittgenstein.
the footnotes made him laugh; the book open
in the bed, the blue divan. How to explain
the duality of grief and joy, relief
and guilt. The way her breathing, as she lies
behind him, legs drawn up, exposed,
her back not quite touching his, touches his heart.
They’ve been together fifteen years
and he would like to leave it at that.
The sun burns low along the ripening wheat
that looks like the wheat in the painting by Van Gogh,
the postcard she bought him that day in Portland, Maine,
and told him if he ever left her she would truly die.
He picks up his book and begins to read,
but sets it back, drawn to the window by the sun,
the sound of a meadow lark in the field.
The only signs in the morning they were there
will be her red hair, snagged at the corner
of the pillow; the slight impression, fading,
on the mattress where they lay.
From Out of Silence: New & Selected Poems (Smith/Doorstop, 2014)