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Posts Tagged ‘love’

 

 

 

Because I can’t make things better,

I offer you tea. I am grateful when you accept.

The night holds us both

as we sit in the kitchen,

your voice a small boat

in an ocean of ache.

 

Because I can’t fix the problems,

I cover you with a blanket

when I see you are shivering,

though I know your shudders

have little to do with cold.

Still, it feels good when you pull

the white throw around you,

as if for the moment you’re protected.

 

I think of the Queen of Sheba,

how she learned to be grateful

for falling. How, in the dark,

she found her own light within,

then rose up and shared

this pearl with the world.

 

Because you are hurting,

I listen to you, would listen

all night, would listen all week.

I offer my whole attention.

And as you find in yourself

the light that is there,

I marvel as you marvel

at your own wisdom, your

own strength.

I listen. I nod.

I pour you tea.

 

 

 

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Darling, they’ve redefined the kilogram.

Once it was a thing. A real thing:

a platinum-iridium cylinder

weighing 2.2 pounds. A thing they kept

in France in a high-security vault. A thing

they could compare to other such weights

kept in vaults all around the world.

As if to lock a thing up is to keep it

from changing. Forever.

 

Now we know better.

Every thing changes. It’s the nature

of things. Even prototypes lose atoms,

no matter how sterile the room

in which they’re kept.

The loss may be only the weight

of a single eyelash that no longer

bats itself at time.

Over time, it matters.

 

Now, understanding the volatile nature of things,

they’ve made the kilogram an idea—

a simple truth—by tying its definition

to Planck’s constant. How the world loves

a constant.

 

Darling, know that I am a thing.

I have wanted to be constant,

unwavering, true, but I lose things.

I gain things. I change innumerable

times a day. I am never the same woman

as I was yesterday. Each time we speak,

I swell, I leak. I will always love you

not the same. There is more at work than gravity.

It’s the way the heart is made.

 

I want to make you promises.

Like constancy. Like forever.

I promise that I’ll change.

Like the old kilogram. Like weather.

 

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/13/world/kilo-measurement-scli-intl/index.html

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One Devotion

 

 

finding in me

the place where honey

is stored

almost empty

still offering it to you

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Into this poem

I tucked a thousand

butterflies so when

you read it, they

flutter out—bright winged

and brilliant, each

a reminder of the

thousand gifts

you’ve given—

and also, though

it’s not easy to hide it

inside Times New Roman,

there’s a big brown bull,

stubborn and formidable.

He doesn’t care

about all those pretty bugs,

he just wants to get across

the message,

What you do matters.

If you doubt it,

just look at those nostrils,

just look at those horns.

 

 

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And if you should find yourself

in the parking lot of tears,

then I will knit you a handkerchief

of poems—they won’t stop

the crying, but then you

will never weep alone—

every tear a chance to connect,

every tear a chance

to fall deeper in love.

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I remember walking the orchard rows

and picking ten flowers from ten apricot trees,

then opening them with my thumbnail,

one by one, peeling back the white petals

to reveal the telling heart. In some,

the pistil and style were still green,

in others, shriveled and black.

We could estimate percentages—

how much of the crop had survived.

 

It takes only a half an hour for a killing frost

to render barren dozens of acres of trees.

And what of the human heart? If it

had blossoms, could we count them, too,

and say after a cold spell, what chance

love had of staying on the tree? Is it

simply a matter of degree? And duration,

too, of course. Or is there something more?

 

Sometimes the loss of fruit is a blessing—

the tree can only support so much.

But is it the same with love? Is there

a kindness in loss? Or is love not like

the cherry tree, not like the apricot?

Does it want only to thrive, to blossom,

to offer as much as it can?

 

And let’s say there is no fruit.

Trees still need water, need nourishment.

So much investment for what looks

like a season when nothing will ripen.

Tell yourself, one season is not

the life of an orchard. Tell yourself

sometimes it’s worse than it seems.

Sometimes there’s life high up in the tree.

Sometimes it’s a killing freeze.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Truth and What-I-Want-to-Hear

sidle up to me like two old drunks,

one wearing a heavy coat and the other

stark naked.

 

“You know,” says the one,

leaning in to whisper,

“You know you are doing thish

perfectly. You are the besht mother

there ever was. Your children

are sho lucky to have you ash their mom.

You desherve a medal. Really. A medal.”

She hiccups at the end.

 

“Don’t lishen to her,”

says the other, grabbing

my arm and tugging me strong.

“You get it wrong a lot. And even

when you do your besht,

there’sh always more to do.

You fuck it up even when you’re trying

to get it right. It’s jusht what mothersh do.”

 

And we walk like that through the alley.

And we walk like that through the store.

And we walk like that through the living room.

And we walk like that to the car.

 

And the naked one laughs like a maniac

as she tugs on my arm again.

“But you love them, don’t you,

You love them chillens. Love is never

enough. And it’s all we have.”

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One Wild Ride

 

 

 

inside the heart

is a river bank full

and a boat

with no oars

no map

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One Near Miss

 

 

walking right past

that man she would later marry—

fruit still green on the vine

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She wants to go see the bluebonnets, she says.

This is after she tells me they’ve said she has three months to live.

And I want to find her vast fields of bluebonnets,

acres and acres of white-tipped blue bloom.

And I want to send her more springs to see them in,

more days to live one day at a time. I want to remove

the pain in her belly, the pain that aggressively grows.

I want to make deals with the universe. Want to say no

to the way things are. I want to tell death to wait.

I want to tell life to find a way. I want to hug her

until she believes she’s beloved. I want to give her

the pen that will write every brave thing

that she’s been unable to say. There are days

when we feel how uncompromising it is, the truth.

How human we are. There are days when the bluebonnets

stretch as far as the eye can see. There are days

we know nothing is more important than going to see them,

a billion blue petals all nodding in the wind, teaching us to say yes.

 

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