What is she to me?
She is the one they wave to, bus drivers, children, all the neighbors, colleagues in the elevator, mechanics, strangers too.
She is the dancing girl, grinning for the camera in the Luxembourg Gardens.
She is softness in the dark, warm hands that cup my curves.
She is memory, Helen’s kitchen, its pies, fried chicken, eggs and bacon and coffee, Swiss steaks, TV dinners (just the good parts); Bud and Bob’s on Sunday afternoons; Edna’s Christmas cookies, pork cutlets fried just right, pickles (no garlic), endless Jell-O salads, and the fudge the dog ate (was it Tinkerbelle?).
She is the Big Pool, cold limbs pulling in cement’s warmth, plunging back into the waters to start the cycle again, cool waters, warm cement, cool waters, warm cement, a body-firing in summer’s heat.
She is radiance of golden energy, the aura that pulls me in.
She is the one to make me laugh (even though I did once say she isn’t funny), to show me humor in tragedy in absurdity in myself sometimes.
She is the one who knows sorrow, balancing joy on its precipice.
She is the one who sees beauty in silence, snowflakes drifting out of grey sky, yellow leaf settling on lake’s surface, orange fire-moon rising from the horizon.
She is the girl in the dark alley, the one to whom I said, “I need you.”
She is the woman I love.
--on the occasion of our twenty-fifth anniversary