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Dan Memmolo

 

Beat Surrender

Don't you know how sweet and wonderful life can be? —
                                           Marvin Gaye, "Let's Get it On"

Morning begins with the high sighs
of the guitar, the bass line's deep
and steady punch, moving me
around the couch, down the hallway,
my pelvis thrusting with every slap
of the snare. I pull my wife out of the bed
in which we slept without rest,
entered without speaking,
due to words we will not forget.
Marvin Gaye's voice begs us to embrace.
The words scraping the back of his throat,
each one battered and coddled
before leaving his mouth and penetrating
the air—it is the first of many voices
he will inject into the song,
only to fade: the quiet whisper,
the aching moan, the croon so sweet,
so pure, so haunted, the words
cease to matter. It’s the beat
pushed between your ribs like a knife
or gunshot, making the soul jingle.
Dancing close, my hands planted
on the small of her back, life
beyond this room, this song,
loses meaning. And when we sink
to the floor and I lift that nightgown
off her body, her arms outstretched,
pointing to a distant sky, I understand
how a world so wrong can feel so right.

 

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