It was a courtyard bell ringing,
tugged by a hundred million hearts,
just as the service starts.
It was Marion Anderson singing, as Lincoln watched.
It was the Stonewall that cried, “no more.”
It was the jagged piece of our minds after another botched war.
It was a simple iteration of common sense,
a casting from the foundry,
a check that had bounced too often.
It was a boundary fight
between rage and the dying of the light.
It was young America, middle America,
stepping off of the fence,
softening the soil that had been mistaken for bedrock.
It was a party in the halls of conscience.
It was a mock trial for the coming judgments
between water and oil.
It was that glimmer behind hopelessness
begin to roil.
It was the fevered gasp of the young man who died alone.
It was a safe, imagined place
where justice poured through the I.V.,
where the rainbow was no mere decoration,
and the sun shone.
It was me, remembering your face.
It was the years the couples have stacked on the shelves,
bringing in friends and family to see
what they have always wanted to show: only, at last, themselves.
It was the love that grows out in the open.
It was a piece of paper
that said something.
It was freedom’s ring
that looks so good, now and henceforth, upon your finger.
It was the lingering possibility of the living God,
a power in the world’s pulse
that leans us toward all that is not yet,
and, hearing something lovely in its chime,
gets us to the church on time.
It was another step
towards the apocalypse, or the dawn.
It was lovemaking with the lights turned on.
It was America and her people returning
to their wedding vows: equality for all, ever learning
together what that means.