About Marriage

by Denise Levertov

Denise Levertov

Don't lock me in wedlock, I want
marriage, an
encounter --

I told you about
the green light of

(a veil of quiet befallen
the downtown park,

Saturday after
noon, long
shadows and cool

air, scent of
new grass
fresh leaves,

blossom on the threshold of
abundance --

and the birds I met there,
birds of passage breaking their journey,
three birds each of a different species:

the azalea-breasted with round poll, dark,
the brindled, merry, mousegliding one,
and the smallest, golden as gorse and wearing
a black Venetian mask

and with them the three deuce hen-birds
feathered in tender, lively brown --

I stood
a half-hour under the enchantment
no-one passed near,
the birds saw me and

let me be
near them.)

It's not irrelevant:
I would be

and meet you
in a green

airy space, not
locked in.

Last updated August 26, 2022