Poem: The Permitted Relationship

After listening to this week's Double X Podcast, I was inspired to write a poem for my wife, Paige. I posted it to her FB page with her permission, but it lost the formatting (curses, FB! Grr!) so here's the poem the way it's supposed to look.

The Permitted Relationship

    by Benjamin Gorman

    for Paige


Imagine them

 Two hands

    Clasped underneath

    The tablecloth

    Under the table of the outdoor restaurant

    Barely invisible to traffic

         Secret so close to being discovered


One hand is defiant black skin

 The other trembling white


Or they are both smooth female hands

 Nails polished and scratching gently


Or both men's hands

 Thicker, squeezing


Or one has a wedding ring

 Its pair far away


Or one is soft paper

 With more wrinkles than the other


These pairs

 Of hands, holding on out of sight


The romance of the forbidden

They hold in the face of fear

    Of reprobation, law, hatred,

    Or just frowns, sneers, scorn

    Or the breaking of hearts of those not present

         not understanding.


But the hands are admired

 Because they hold.

   Because they defy.


So romantic

    We cover one hand in werewolf fur

    Cold marble vampire skin

    Subterranean alien scales

To call it love.


Our hands

 Are on top of the table

    A man's

    A woman's

    Skin the same color and age.

Or they are under the heavy blankets

    Of our soft, bourgeoisie bed



But we hold in the face of fear

    Of monotony, complacency, apathy

    Or just forgetfulness, age, comfort

    Or the loss we cannot contemplate

         cannot fathom.


Our hands are admirable, too.

 I hold for you.

   For you

     I defy.