After the Earthquake
After the first astounding rush,
after the weeks at the lake,
the crystal, the clouds, the water lapping the rocks,
the snow breaking under our boots like skin,
& the long mornings in bed. . .
After the tangos in the kitchen,
& our eyes fixed on each other at dinner,
as if we would eat with our lids,
as if we would swallow each other. . .
I find you still
here beside me in bed,
(while my pen scratches the pad
& your skin glows as you read)
& my whole life so mellowed & changed
that at times I cannot remember
the crimp in my heart that brought me to you,
the pain of a marriage like an old ache,
a husband like an arthritic knuckle.
Here, living with you,
love is still the only subject that matters.
I open to you like a flowering wound,
or a trough in the sea filled with dreaming fish,
or a steaming chasm of earth
split by a major quake.
You changed the topography.
Where valleys were,
there are now mountains.
Where deserts were,
there now are seas.
We rub each other,
but we do not wear away.
The sand gets finer
& our skins turn silk.
Erica Jong's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (After the Earthquake by Erica Jong )
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(1886 - 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)
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