You Are the Penultimate Love of My Life

By Rebecca Hazelton Rebecca Hazelton
I want to spend a lot but not all of my years with you.
We’ll talk about kids
                              but make plans to travel.
I will remember your eyes
                              as green when they were gray.
Our dogs will be named For Now and Mostly.
               Sex will be good but next door’s will sound better.

There will be small things.
I will pick up your damp towel from the bed,
                                                            and then I won’t.
I won’t be as hot as I was
                              when I wasn’t yours
and your hairline now so
               untrustworthy.
When we pull up alongside a cattle car
                              and hear the frightened lows,
                              I will silently judge you
                              for not immediately renouncing meat.
You will bring me wine
                              and notice how much I drink.

                                              The garden you plant and I plant
                              is tunneled through by voles,
                                                             the vowels
                                                             we speak aren’t vows,
               but there’s something
                              holding me here, for now,
               like your eyes, which I suppose
                                                             are brown, after all.

Rebecca Hazelton, “You Are the Penultimate Love of My Life” from Vow. Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Hazelton. Reprinted by permission of Cleveland State University Press Poetry Center.

Source: Vow (Cleveland State University Press Poetry Center, 2013)

 Rebecca  Hazelton

Biography

Rebecca Hazelton is the author of Fair Copy (2012), winner of the Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award in Poetry, and Vow (2013), from Cleveland State University Poetry Center. She was the 2010-11 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison's Creative Writing Institute; and winner of the “Discovery”/Boston Review 2012 poetry contest. Hazelton's poems have appeared in AGNI, the Southern . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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