12 Sep

The “traditional” first anniversary gift is paper (followed by cotton, leather, fruit on the second, third, fourth…).  John and I have that gift in the bag.  If you and I are friends on facebook (and if we’re not, let’s take the plunge!), click here for how our letter-writing habits got incorporated into our proposal!

Since we first started dating, John and I have written love letters, love notes, quick scribbles of affection on post-its.  I’ve found notes tucked in between the pages of books on my nightstand, in my suitcase, on the front door.  I’ve mailed John postcards from California to Jordan, or simply letters written in Boston to our home address while we were living under the same roof.  When John was in Guatemala, he wrote me at least once a week but, having no place to mail them, kept them with him, and then handed me the thick stack when he met me at the Guatemala City airport.  Before he left for Ghana, I wrote him a little note (they were short!)–thoughts about what I loved and missed about him; favorite quotes; a Valentine’s card–for every day he was away.

Today, we’ve been married a year.  I can’t believe it’s been a year, and there is simply too much to say about what I love about this man, what I love about our marriage.  One of the minute, perhaps even trivial, things that I love is that we write to each other.  At this time, there is very little that I love more than coming home from class, opening my mailbox, and seeing his very distinct, crowded handwriting.  My heart literally skips a beat.

Happy Anniversary, John.  Thank you for being my love, my husband.  This last year truly has been the best of my life.

How the music was made.

for anna oppenheimer and john jesus on their wedding day

She decided on a picnic

And he selected the wine.

She melted the chocolate for truffles,

Rinsed the grapes for snacking,

Contemplated the perfect tree.

He gathered butter and stories

For bread, kneaded the dough with laughter,

Made a mess of the kitchen.

They knelt together by the stove

awaiting the miraculous rising

of wheat,

Fingers and shoulders

skimming the waters Of closesness

Eyelids and lips leaning on each other

Like books.

Love was there.

Always there.

Minutely contained and

Ravenously known,

Like a june-bug in a cupped palm


The sun spread honey

And the world whirled by

In its new autumn shoes,

But inside their kitchen

Of white and dark tiles,

They were constructing lyric

And the geometry of fitting.

She began humming.

His heart groaned with yes.

We do? Yes.

We will? Yes.

Always. Always. Always.

What had their hands held

Until this very now?

He/She/They reached

And the future chapters of their lives

Slid into cadence.

There would be time for picnics.

Oh heart.

It is a madness to go wanting.

It is an ecstasy to exist

As these two, these two strings,

side by side,

On an instrument

Orpheus whittled from bone,

As G-d

draws her palm across you like


And elicits a singular note.

-horace ballard


8 Responses to “paper”

  1. Erica September 13, 2010 at 12:16 am #

    Mmmm. What a delicious poem. Interestingly, I heard very few of the actually WORDS on the day of because I was swimming in that yummy voice that read it 🙂

    • annaojesus September 13, 2010 at 9:57 am #

      Right there with you! In fact, I didn’t really hear that many words during the entire course of the day.

      • Liz September 30, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

        I distinctly remember hearing the “Yes” es, and that’s it.

        (A little like the basses singing “Oh Yes” in the Battle of Jericho…)

        Anna, I LOVE your blog! And not in a I-just-yakked-in-your-cab way.

      • annaojesus September 30, 2010 at 11:59 pm #

        Oh my, that was pretty much the only part I heard as well–and what a perfect comparison!

        Liz, thank you. I’m really happy that you visited the blog…definitely a work in progress, but a really really nice outlet.

        P.S. I love your new email address 🙂


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