I have noticed over my association with many poets, that there were many times a male poet might write a stunning love poem to a woman that he treated pretty shabbily. Not always the case, but it made me less jealous that I wasn’t getting so many love poems.
I have a sense that E Ethelbert Miller treats Maria well:
Crossing the Line
. for Maria
Sitting across the table from you
I think back to when our friendship
came down from the mountains.
It was a cold day and the miners
had not left for work.
You break a cookie in half like bread
and this sharing is what we both now need.
That which breaks into crumbs are memories.
Your gray hair cut short and you ask if I notice.
How can I tell you that Bolivia will always be
beautiful and everything I notice is you
and yes is you. Our napkins folded in our hands.
Folded as if our meeting now is prayer.
Did I ever tell you that your eyes are a map
and I would lose myself if you ever turned away
E. Ethelbert Miller
Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 14, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets. You can read his comments about this poem on their website.