On Marriage

To reconcile the divide between
hope, and reality.
The tension between
wanting, and having.
To experience enough, 
to get lost
in contentment,
and still keep growing.

These are the tenuous scales
balancing our life matter.
so that when we come up for air, 
weary from the work that living is, 
and, with a gasp we inhale… 
    - joy - 
temporary, and fleeting, yet tangible
enough not to forget.

And so we begin again,
remembering this love is both
our reward, and our work.

Amnesiacs to pain, propelled forward
by a kind of inertia in which
intuition and adrenaline pulse
and pull us through space and time, 
hard and soft. To have learned so much, 
and still not understand the body
of trauma that is the past. 
How I want to say it doesn’t
matter anymore; 
except that I’m still working
to be present

I see our generation: we’re hostages, 
prisoners of a war so insidious
that it is everywhere, and yet
at times not even detectable. Childhoods of
loneliness and sensory overload. Adolescence of
in-between, fighting in faraway places, 
a subaltern snare of nomadic tendencies.
Where we live stateless and without reflection,
both affirming and empty.

Until, if we’re lucky, we find ourselves
drenched in an Adulthood marked by
too much. Too much science, too much
reason, too much experience, too much
debt. Too much everything. Except for
what we most need, a distant remembering,
like an echo, of how it sounded to simply
trust the body’s innate way of knowing.
This is the foundation on which
we excavate a life. 

I don’t mean to be bleak, or dramatic, 
or tragic. Our scars are our greatest
strength. If we can learn to see through
the scratches on the surface of the
lenses. Then we will see that we are
survivors, healers, storytellers. 
Comparing scars. Cultivating gifts. 
Gravitating to a kind of complimentary
brokenness, which is either the bridge to
better, or the sea in which we
get swallowed up. 

So far I’ve learned its more both/and, than it is
either/or. That this is the architecture of marriage, 
the rhythm of commitment. Some sort of perpetual
breaking and building back. This traveling alone, and
returning to each other, both different and
the same. Both separate and

It’s funny how, you, in your solidity, 
trustthat we are growing into each other, 
how you see us deepening. And, I, in my transience, 
feel the distance, widening. What gets lost
in the gap? What gets found?
With your predisposition to stay, 
and mine to run. 
Perhaps we’re perfectly suited
to find what lives in the middle. Something
that might be compromise. 

I wonder on this scaffolding
how a home is built in which we live, 
and dream. In which fantasies and
needs can both be equally met.
This learning to see love as a tangible thing,
as unbreakable, as more beautiful
with wear and tear, than without. 
To take it off the shelf and hold it in our hands. 
Love not limited to special occasions.
 Love after children, with children. 
Add time and turbulence. 

What persists? This feeling relatively
safe, being seen and known. Is that
what love is? The thing beyond the carefully
curated narrative. I’ll take that thing. The messy, 
real and damaged.The broken and beautiful. 
The Shangri-La version, just
behind the curtain.

-Micah Stover

PoetryJulia NusbaumComment