Creative Work: ‘My Husband, the Statistician’, and ‘Better Than Fiction’ by Erica Brenes

This week we are featuring two poems by Erica Brenes. “My Husband, The Statistician” isCreative Works a beautiful, loving description of two poets, each in their own way — a husband and wife both equals and opposites. “Better Than Fiction” is an equally heartfelt tribute to a shared life better than one created in the head of a writer.

My Husband, the Statistician

You wake before me, and you dig beneath the covers.
Lying at the foot of our bed, you then uncover
Just the smallest bit of me.

With care, with tenderness,
with a palpable quietness,
and me still asleep,
you then drag the blunt edge of your thumb
across the vein that so often juts from the top of my right foot.

Pronounced and raised,
It speaks out beneath my tattoo,
and you speak back.

Like you’re reading Braille on paper,
you rub into it, press hard, and release.
Slide your finger across the edge.

Calculate my breadth and broadness,
Measure it with your eyes and now your hands.

Like you’re listening to the Morse code of my veins,
you tap and it taps back,
beat for beat.

And when I finally wake and find you this way on a week day morning,
beautiful and perfect, you respond,
without effort and without rehearsal.

“Even your feet are beautiful.”

Out of the two of us, baby, I think you’re the poet.

Better Than Fiction

You are no character,
No trope, No foil,
No rhetorical trick,
But you are the well
of all things home,
All things honorable
and worthy and choice.

You are the comfort and the savory
and the good and the profound.
You are you
and in your breathtaking naturalness,
I find the finest whimsy of my life.

The trochaic rhythm of my heart.

In ink,
strange is sexy,
Raw and rare.

Often,
Familiarity,
When written,
Fails and flounders
But in moments
Elusive to meter and rhyme,
Our “Writer’s block moments,”
The indescribable ones,
Ones that care little for due dates and submittability,
Fine end line rhymes,
When your love leaves my journal unscratched
And my mouth without words,
When we are painfully unpoetic,
Simple and plain,
Direct.

When one night, you woke me up to say:
Sometimes, I forget we’re married…
Sometimes, I think I’m just living
With my best friend.
That is when I love you most.

That is when you are sweet like syrup.

Which is all to say, my dear:
I have not found the pen
Nor written the poem
That deserves you.
Not yet.

So, come here.
Just let me hold you.

The lines in both poems are filled with love and longing, respect and admiration, wonder and curiosity. Join us next week for another inspiring post!

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