The lake you think is low blood pressure calm,
the one that rests there, holding up ducks—
doesn't want to be there; it works furiously
to find a road out of itself. Without the flurried
assistance of rain, its only option is evaporation's
slow jailbreak. For all its serenity, this water
has someplace else to be. And you, my wife,
the strife in your body, finds in your low voice,
its way from you, a moan that comes and goes
without your knowing. It's not like you to lose
this way, and that frightens me. I want you
at ease, but oddly, there's value in this test run,
a preview to agonies that'll set up shop within
us. We'll learn to be gracious through them all,
as most couples do, comfort the ailing other
with a hand within a hand, the flint of such
a thing alone that struck us once to life. But I
think I won't be as tasteful as you in suffering.
You'll hold back what you can of pain, as you
do today, a tear gathering together its mighty
love, to pack it in for someplace else, a stream
singing down your face, a song to assuage my
worry. But when it's my time to hurt, I'll howl
bloody murder. I won't think to spare you any-
thing of my misery. I'll shake my death rattle
like I'm mixing paint. And you'll return to me,
a false report that everything's fine. That lake,
a heart roars within its sleeping body—though
you'd never know it to look at the surface
of the thing, an engine in your eyes that's about
inexhaustible, haloed by the kind of quiet
a maestro's earned, seconds before its atoms
resurface as music.