The Germ Suspended
After René Magritte’s Elective Affinities
Last night when we wed, we dived in tandem
through the O of a great oak headboard, our
nightclothes tattered and flying behind us.
Tonight I walked in on you sawing apart
the bed, several spent blades and their
broken teeth littering the floor.
That triumphant arch, now cruelly bifurcated,
shackles two of the posts, intact but severed
and affixed by some horrendous glue.
I will never understand why you made it
so pretty: two of the posts dismantled
and recombined, one as axis of pedestal,
one as cross brace. The two uprights
bracketed chessboard knights dutifully
standing guard. Where did you learn such
carpentry? Where did you store the tools?
In my one night of matrimonial rest,
and under cover of sweetness, did you
wrest from me my egg and grow it to fill
your unyielding cage, welded with no
door, no chance to hatch, feed, or ever escape.
The germ suspended, the finials are proud
that we will never sleep again. Between
the cold wires I can stroke the shell,
smooth and white as alabaster. It contains
everything. It is mine. And it will never move.