Treasure Island

Erica Jong

(26 March 1942 / New York City)

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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Comments about this poem (After the Earthquake by Erica Jong )

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  • Gil Gregorio (8/27/2008 3:45:00 AM)

    Family poetry is really great. The ups and downs on love and understanding can be greatly depicted from our experiences.

    What an earthquake! (Report) Reply

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