Singing the Divorce Papers [poem] by BJ Ward

Our marriage is finally

inviolable, my dear.


Let us celebrate the destruction:

the permission we’ve given ourselves

to be happy.


Let us sing the virtues

of a mistake corrected—

of immersing finally ourselves

in the light

we’ve been trekking toward

since we realized it was dark.


Let us celebrate ignoring

the old ways that led to resentment

and early wrinkles.


We’re having sex again—

just not with each other.


I grasp the opened pen—

with this signing, I am singing—

and with this singing, I thee unwed.



Image of 1930s Switchboard Operator

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BJ Ward is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Jackleg Opera: Collected Poems 1990-2013. His poems have appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, The New York Times, The Normal School, and The Sun. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and two Distinguished Artist Fellowships from the NJ State Council on the Arts. His website is