Back then, on that thin strip of barrier
island, at your parents’ beachfront
house, we were at war with each other
over territory: psychic premises, time,
responsibilities, attention. We plumbed
desire and fury, threatened one another
with abandonment. Sometimes the wind
would shift and blow from the land, across
the sound, not from the sea, and bring
dank pressure and a horde of insects,
tropical, hard and heavy, banging into
the screens, hanging there with barbed legs
and the faces of demons. I snapped them off
with my middle finger which annoyed you
sitting across from me under the lamp
that had drawn them to our windows,
nursing our newborn son and trying to read.
What did we know about love then? Why
did we stay together, we two, grandparents
now, long married, writing books of poems,
our dedications to each other in italics?
The wind would shift, again and again.
We seem to have always known that much.