She used to walk through the house, skirt rustling
like rain. How was he to know she’d end up drunk—

face puffed like a corpse in a lake? That they’d grow
as capable of savagery as they used to be of grace?

Long before the strain of life on the coasts, they
roasted each other after work at night, getting tight

together on gin & 7 Up. When it got too late
for her to read, or him to type, they’d fall asleep,

& share the same dreams, & sometimes wake up
in the middle of a thunderstorm. It would seem

as though the walls all had open eyes, & that the rain
could sing, & love would ring through the room.

Now, when they scream at each other like the world
might end, that’s the time he most likes to remember:

twin hearts, full, in the American heartland.
Whenever they stop shouting, & she’s back

to tugging on his sleeve, begging him to tell her
where he’s hidden her bottles, Robinson

searches her eyes for their old, smart gleam:
that sparkle like a diamond atop another diamond.

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KATHLEEN ROONEY is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a nonprofit publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, and a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a three-person team of poets and their typewriters who compose commissioned poetry on demand. She is the author of six books of poetry and nonfiction including, most recently, the just-released novel in poems Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press), based on the life and work of Weldon Kees, the essay collection For You, For You I Am Trilling These Songs (Counterpoint, 2010), and the art modeling memoir Live Nude Girl: My Life as an Object (University of Arkansas Press, 2009). Her first book is Reading with Oprah: The Book Club That Changed America (University of Arkansas Press, 2005), and her first poetry collection, Oneiromance (an epithalamion) won the 2007 Gatewood Prize from the feminist publisher Switchback Books. With Elisa Gabbert, she is the author of That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness (Otoliths, 2008) and the forthcoming chapbook The Kind of Beauty That Has Nowhere to Go (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013). She lives in Chicago with her husband, the writer Martin Seay, and works as a Visiting Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at DePaul and a Visiting Writer at Roosevelt University.

One response to “Robinson Recalls His First Year of Marriage”

  1. wryterRy says:

    *tear* Kinda been there…

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