To marry Alison, Robert, will be to haul water
from a deep well for the rest of your life.
It will be to worry about beauty
instead of enjoying it. Strange men
are likely to be calling in the middle
of the night. You love her soul, you say.
but Robert, a soul is unmapped territory,
an adventure, and, Alison, trust me,
is a great soul and an adventure
you won’t come back from the same.
You’re not afraid of change, you say.
Well, you’ll have to learn a new language,
hers, which she expects to be understood
before it’s spoken. And she’ll expect you
to enter a jungle with a fondness
for creatures that can rip you apart.
You’re not afraid, you say again. Okay,
appreciate her, she’s fabulous, but know
she can’t balance a checkbook,
and her desires range from expensive ova
to cuttlebones and chowder. Robert,
no one can make a marriage or the world
behave as he wishes, and I won’t
be a broker for what’s so breakable.
I just try to make things that last.
I’ve made you up; I’ve given you a chance.