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In my Advanced Composition courses, the students selected the topic of gay marriage for their midterm. And, I promised to deliver them an anthology of readings about marriage, what it means, how fragile it is, what it makes us.

Sometimes after I have heard a word, I hear it amplified, repeated in various media for days, or weeks. The first time this happened was with the word “uterus.” It was as if it was instantly ubiquitous: from the lips of a teacher, in an magazine advertisement, on the nightly news. Uterus, uterus on the airwaves.

But right now it is marriage that fills my eyes. By ten this morning, I’d received two articles on marriage from my favorite newspapers and a student sent a love poem that was a not-so-veiled note demanding a divorce.

One of my students says that when he notices a pattern like this it usually repeats itself a few times before becoming something real in his life.

Before you worry about my marriage, here’s what I found: In another poem by Bob Hicok titled “A bit of news,” the speaker defines marriage, saying:

“What does that [marriage] mean? That means
you tell me your dreams and I will tell you what I think
of your dreams.”

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