The Discipline of Love

A couple of porcelain owls

a couple, of owls

you gave me

while we were courting

and three years later

I see them for the first time:

wise

cute (a little chubby)

well-suited

open

looking in the same direction

with their wings folded

down by their sides like

two hands clasped

behind the back–

the pose of contemplation

of listening

of wonder.

They are standing so close,

intimate, innocent

But is not innocence always intimate?

Isn’t that why we fear it?

And intimacy is innocence too.

I think that’s what I’ll call

my couple. Of owls.

Intimate (that’s you).

and

Innocence.

But we can trade places from time-to-time.

(By the way, your innocence surprises me).

It’s one of the reasons I love you.

In front of the female sits a waiting candle.

The male’s is off to the side. Waiting.

I will put these two up on the altar,

a relationship

of mutual worship.

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