To my wife
One winter day I crossed the Seine alone
from the Musée d’Orsay’s effulgent hush
to the Tuileries’ deserted Garden,
walking the Senghor footbridge in the slush.
A thousand brazen love locks thronged the fences,
weird erotic spells inscribed with black magic
marker. A jail for spiritual offences.
Against abandonment. One heretic
barge rode under that footbridge trailing smoke
and bearing a bright backhoe like a text
from God or an epiphanic joke.
One vessel christened Freedom. How unhexed
and joyful, O, and crafted to cohere,
a marriage grows whose art has mastered fear.