On Reading in Marriage
They speak of their pleasures, their necessary loves. There are changes you make. Some things are not accidents.
In other words, after decades fueled by a fifth of vodka drenched with grapefruits each day, husband is able to leave it behind. Although he loved it, it was not necessary.
Wife, in her cravings for sugar and salt, discovers with age they are not constitutive, not centrally.
Might be solitude or fine shoes; 80’s music or mountains and seas; active social lives or the thrills of travel, how do you know?
Husband elicits evaluation. Given impending demise, what gives more pleasure?
Wife admits a necessary love.
Husband responds in kind, having been in partial reverie, their warm bed surrounded by shelves of books, so that as he listens he also corresponds. She says. His eyes resting on a spine and the sweet particular music of that voiced tome slithering through him, then the next. Perhaps like chocolate morsels in their process of dissolve upon her tongue.
“I love sentences,” Husband says.
There ensues a pause, a sympathetic “I know.”
He ups to exit, teeth to brush, clothes remove.
He hears “I am a sentence,” a lilting and playful challenge. And wonders just what that might be, each person a length of sentence. The content. He puzzles the verbiage of his own as toothpaste shuffles into his beard.
He returns to the room, it is dark, there is no light to see by.
Opening the covers, he approaches the text, eager to find what it says.