Twenty-One Love Poems 19

Poem by Adrienne Rich

Can it be growing colder when I begin
to touch myself again, adhesions pull away?
When slowly the naked face turns from staring backward
and looks into the present,
the eye of winter, city, anger, poverty, and death
and the lips part and say: I mean to go on living?
Am I speaking coldly when I tell you in a dream
or in this poem, There are no miracles?
(I told you from the first I wanted daily life,
this island of Manhattan was island enough for me.)
If I could let you know-
two women together is a work
nothing in civilization has make simple,
two people together is a work
heroic in its ordinariness,
the slow-picked, halting traverse of a pitch
where the fiercest attention becomes routine
-look at the faces of those who have chosen it.