—life is for kissing,
The day my husband first planted his kiss on me
I gave him my passionate unruly self.
We needed each other and for years after —ambled along.
But when he began to walk five steps ahead, when
we passed each other in the kitchen, not speaking,
when we fed each other bland television
at night in the bedroom, he with headphones,
me in an eyeshade, when goodnight kisses
were neglected, we understood—
our marriage was dying.
It’s time to cut back the hanging vines
dead–brittle straggling bones, once covered
with bright orange seduction that lure hummingbirds
back again and again to my yard. When they stop by
to taste the flowers, they find sweet temperance and in return
reward me with their humming. Who of us doesn’t yearn
for that flicker when giving is the same as getting?
Cheryl Heineman is currently enrolled in the MFA program at San Diego State University. She holds a Masters in Jungian Psychology, has won several awards from the Palm Springs Writers Guild, her poems have appeared in the San Diego Poetry Annual, San Diego Writer’s Ink, and she has self-published two collections of poetry, Just Getting Started and something to hold onto.