In the mail:
Joe’s wedding ring.
Made of meteorite:
Chunks of streaked, slate-colored iron
Dropped to earth from space,
And shiny, copper-colored
From inside the earth.
A particular design
For a particular man.
I had to order it over the Internet —
Dizzying to send that much money over
Paypal for a piece of
It came via insured mail from
(“Hippie town,” Joe says.
“Of course they make meteorite rings there.”)
And arrived on our doorstep on
Valentine’s Day afternoon.
I opened the package in the kitchen after
Shooing Joe upstairs.
My brother, a groomsman, was there,
And I made him squeeze the ring —
It didn’t give.
The small boy, of course,
Needed to see, too.
I gave it to him warily,
And hovered as he tried it on his small thumb
Lest he somehow drop it down the venting system.
He gave it back, apparently approving —
Good, ’cause he’ll be bearing it down the aisle on
May 7 —
And pulled his babysitting uncle to play.
Later, at the restaurant,
Gazing at each other over tea lights,
We ordered our first course off the prix fixe menu,
And Joe said,
“Get out that ring.”
I pulled the box out of my purse and opened it, and we both looked inside.
The ring is heavy and medieval-looking;
The meteorite inlay streaked as if with slate paint brush strokes.
The rose-gold lining shining from inside the ring like an underground lava flow.
Joe put it on his ring finger,
And I thought that it looked,
Against his skin,
Truly like iron.
It wasn’t until Joe went to the bathroom
And I studied the eternal randomness of the
Streaks and swipes,
And ran my finger along the smooth copper-glow lining,
And thought about how I’d
Earned the money
To buy this ring,
And was grateful to be able to do that
That the ring’s billion-year-old
When Joe came back from the bathroom,
I made him put it on his finger one last time.
“Happy Valentine’s Day, babe,” I said.