He will become a selfish lover,
Who guards his crumbs
And keeps a tally of his slights.
You will use the butter knife for the marmalade,
Or forget, when the children need you,
To make his tea with honey
And to keep the house in order.
The knack you have, for spinning plates,
Undone, by small bursts of human chaos
The dog will leave more muddy pawprints in his office,
Or maul his slippers
When he is trying to work
And you will be busy, over the telephone,
Listening to someone else's life,
With the needle threaded and your hand poised,
To sew their fraying courage,
After they have mended yours.
You will argue when you go back to work.
When the milk expires.
Whenever the way you wish to take is not his way.
Your patience, at first, the figure head
On an old battleship, stoic and proud,
Will weather in his ocean, and warp,
Until you snap;
A Venus fly trap,
A book slammed shut,
A door eager to leap into its frame, indignant.
Lines in the sand will be drawn.
He will no longer keep you arching your back
In the hours after midnight,
Invoking gods you don't believe in
And clutching the coverlet, while you quiver with delight.
He will turn instead,
His face away from you, the curve of his body a reproach,
His tension coiled like a spring,
Waiting for a reason to pounce,
With staccato words and sharp recriminations.
He will only want you when he wants you.
He won't return your smiles,
Or come up behind you to kiss your neck,
While you chop onions or write poetry.
He will expect you to be the version of yourself
Who only puts him first, and mutes your edges.
You must think of him as the planet you will orbit.
You will grow weary,
His affection dripping on and off, like a faulty tap,
And your own suddenly stalled,
The pipes freezing without kindness.
"He is a lovely man" they will tell you
"You are so lucky to have found him"
And your skin will prickle like an itch,
Because they are both right and wrong
With their Schrodinger's truths.
You want a man who will hold your face in his hands
And tell you that he loves you.
One who will stroke your hair,
And keep you held
Even when it rains into your lives,
Through holes in the roof you didn't know were there.
He must be a man
Who will help you fetch buckets.
One who will laugh with you,
Until the twinkles in your eyes
Grow big enough to make your faces dance with light.
You want a man whose existence
Lets you be content.
Whose name you carry like a blessing in your mouth.
One whose hand finds yours
In the dark corridors
Of this world,
And doesn't let you go.