Can we ever say anything and mean it? Can
be a science, a law? I've promised twice in my life
to love and honor my husband. All I know is
that the sheen
is off my marriage, much like this town that
in twenty-five years, grown bigger than itself--
too much fat, its edges lost in soft gluttony
which makes the body numb to the soul's constancy.
Yet I love them both; him in a subdued way;
with the charms of memory, an old model for
the current lens.
Once the realization that Paradise is only one of
a number of
extremes, like love, when we find our beloved is
as grand and poor
as anything else, we fall as far and hard out of it
we fell in. My life is now charged with finding
I know that what's beyond happiness and despair
is not neutral. Joy is letting the pure boat
of desire and pain take you clean across.
I haven't walked these streets in years,
Yet I see indentations of the apparitions I've long
The giant Banyan across from the court-house;
the rooftop sixth
floor of La Concha still the highest spot
where we once stood
before sunset and possibility. I was ready to
give my hand to my
husband and walk through the town which flips a
switch at darkness
and becomes the other side of what I'd known.
Like my older face.
Is it more mine with its flap of skin under the
chin and these odd
wrinkles, or someone else's image [rendering] of what
it should be?
Donna Decker has authored the forthcoming "Under the Influence of Paradise, " a series of dramatic monologues about a fictional Key West. She created the choreopoem "Dear Riz" and is coeditor of "North of Wakulla: An Anthology of Tallahassee Poets. " She teaches English at the University of Wisconsin/Stevens Point.
© 1997 The Women in Literature and Life Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English (ISSN #1065-9080). Permission is given to copy any article provided credit is given and the copies are not intended for resale.
Reference Citation: Decker, Donna. (1997). "The Woman on Her Second Honeymoon in Key West." WILLA, Volume VI, p. 18.