Marriage is one man and one woman
they say, one at a time, then another, another.
You see the buffed faces of old men shining
with money as they lead their young blondes
and toddlers, second or third families,
the shopworn wives donated to Good Will.

It has always been so, they say,
one man and one woman in the Bible –
like Jacob with Leah and Rachel
and the bondmaidens dropping children
his four women competing to swell
like a galaxy of moons.

In Tibet women had various husbands at once.
I had two myself for a few years.
In earlier times and different cultures
and tribes, men married men and women
married women, and the sky never fell.
People loved as they would and must

and the rivers still ran clean and the grass
grew a lot harder and more abundantly
than it does with us. What damage
does love do in the soft grey evenings
when the rain drifts like pigeon feathers
across the sky and into the trees?

Why, gentlemen, do you fear two women
who walk holding hands with their child?
Two fifty-year-old men exchange rings
and kiss, and you catch mad cow disease
as fallout? What do you hate when you
watch lovers? What are you really missing?