How To Be United In Future Lives
is a sutra from the Angutarra Nikaya, a book
too big for me to handle. It says that if I
do not wrong you and you do not wrong
me, the blessings will be awesome
and all our enemies will walk away in shame.
I will make it simpler for you.
I will live through this day with you. What follows
is the future, and I will renew this vow
day after day until the future is now.
While you are away I will be stronger
in my loneliness, and when you return
I will rebuild a house of happiness.
I will love your eyes as we get older, just like I love
each summer in New Jersey, all that open sea.
I will know you by your footfall,
by the air that grows still. Who are you
and from where have you come?
I will protect you from gossip, from the murmuring chatter
of the humdrum world. When your heart is full
of longing, or doubt obscures it with rain,
I will understand as though I were reading
your palm, your tea leaves, your daily
horoscope. I will make you laugh or you
will make me laugh and our laughter
will be an entire universe where no one dies.
I will learn your words as you learn mine
and we will place those words
in each other’s mouth like ripe berries,
bursting with sweetness. And when our bodies
are tired and our eyes are closed
I will praise the body that holds your soul.
I do not know what the soul is, my love.
But I will say love, which is more difficult,
more enduring, more fine. Love till the future life
unfolds, and I wake by your side.