The National Catholic Review
Edward A. Dougherty

Nearly midnight
and traffic still goes on,
people not where
they want to be.

Up to my neck
in fire-warmed water,
my arms arc
the tub’s round rim

and a school’s lights
amber-stain the clouds.
We know by faith
stars burn above them.

Feet gripping the far wall,
I become a shallow cup,
an open parenthesis
in which you lie, half-

floating, half-stretching,
so our bodies declare
again a wordless fidelity.
Snow swirls around u

as we celebrate
our anniversary,
our union and reunion,
our lasting buoyancy.

Edward A. Dougherty is author of two recent books of poems and of a textbook, Exercises for Poets: Double Bloom, co-authored with Scott Minar, available from Prentice-Hall. This poem is one of three runners-up in the 2008 Fole

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