Theory of Marriage (The Hug)
Arden would turn his head toward the one
he loved, Paul or me, and look downward,
and butt the top of his skull against us, leaning forward,
hiding his face, disappearing into what he'd chosen.
Beau had another idea. He'd offer his rump
for scratching, and wag his tail while he was stroked,
returning that affection by facing away, looking out
toward whatever might come along to enjoy.
Beau had no interest in an economy of affection;
why hoard what you can give away?
Arden thought you should close your eyes
to anything else; only by vanishing
into the beloved do you make it clear:
what else is there you'd want to see?
- from "Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems"