by Sharon Olds

I've said that he and I had been crazy

for each other, but maybe my ex and I were not

crazy for each other. Maybe we

were sane for each other, as if our desire

was almost not even personal—

it was personal, but that hardly mattered, since there

seemed to be no other woman

or man in the world. Maybe it was

an arranged marriage, air and water and

earth had planned us for each other—and fire,

a fire of pleasure like a violence

of kindness. To enter those vaults together, like a

solemn or laughing couple in formal

step or writhing hair and cry, seemed to

me like the earth's and moon's paths,

inevitable, and even, in a way,

shy—enclosed in a shyness together,

equal in it. But maybe I

was crazy about him—it is true that I saw

that light around his head when I'd arrive second

at a restaurant—oh for God's sake,

I was besotted with him. Meanwhile the planets

orbited each other, the morning and the evening

came. And maybe what he had for me

was unconditional, temporary

affection and trust, without romance,

though with fondness—with mortal fondness. There was no

tragedy, for us, there was

the slow-revealed comedy

of ideal and error. What precision of action

it had taken, for the bodies to hurtle through

the sky for so long without harming each other.


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