I’ve seen you
go through others like tissues,
disregarding them once you’re through
and they’ve served their purpose;
left piles of trash on the floor
for someone else to pick up.
You need something more
permanent, light to the touch;
dependable, like a portable, pocket-size pillow
you can wash and re-use again and again.
Something that won’t irritate the skin or rub you raw.
I want to be your handkerchief.
I want to be the one who takes the sweat off your brow,
gets the dirt off your hands.
Soak me in water and I’ll help relieve your fever.
Use me as a napkin if you say the wrong thing and you can wipe
leftover letters from unspoken words off the corners of your mouth.
I want to be the one who catches the worst of you.
I want to be your handkerchief.
-No over-the-top punchline involving hanky-panky.
I want to be the threads you run your fingers across,
baptized by your spit, able to take
whatever you throw at me and catch it like a circus net.
I want to be your soft landing, your perfect fit.
Something like a tourniquet – I want your initials sewn into me.
Fold me corner to corner, place me in your drawer
next to your socks and underwear
or keep me in your breast pocket
so you can carry me everywhere –
the one who’s closest to your heart.
Sentence Structure: A Love Poem
It all comes down to semantics. Falling in
implies an open manhole, swallowing bystanders. I’d rather
Fall on Love, like a cushy mattress, a divine catcher’s mitt,
a net beneath hearts reaching out from the trapeze. Going in
implies ever-forwardness, a footstep through a curtain unveiling
the possibility of vast sunlight; a ship on course
guided by stars to a destination
only on maps of old. Better still
would be to Climb up Love,
a summit to stick a flag in after a trek through harsh elements;
a new perspective earned, from which all other things
seem small and trivial.
I don’t mind going in, but if I must
let me do so willingly –
I’d much rather
Dive than fall.
Some loves are commas, a pause
between run-on sentences. Others
are semi-colons; one sticking
their heels into the ground, while the other
looks around past corners nostalgic
for something better. Some –
if they’re lucky –
are colons: A pair side-by-side,
both eyes fixed straight on a new horizon.
But there is always the sentence,
the desire to see just how it will end.
When Love is gone, it becomes an ellipsis:
Each day a boxed prison of solitude indistinguishable
from the next until the sentence comes to a close...
Or another one begins. Yes,
there are declarations of Love. There are also
questions. Sometimes there are commands. Love
should always be an exclamation,
rocketing like the weight on a carnival
strength-challenge until it hits the bell
and crashes down; a comet highlighting
its glorious tail, even as it’s falling. Falling.
Some loves are quotation marks
sharing a park bench, both sides
turning to face each other as their refection,
examples to live their life by – asking without asking,
“Are you how it’s supposed to be done?”
The verb I find most bothersome is Making.
We do not make what we were born with,
or what we were made of. We only learn
to share our resources. Yes,
we can take Love, but You and I,
we have fallen in, fallen on, gone in,
climbed up, and dived into whatever
it is we have between us. All I ask,
is that you love me like a mercy killing,
kiss me like a firing squad. If I am blind,
let me be so willingly. I will tie the rag
around my eyes myself. I am not making.
I am Giving. And in this surrender,
you can use all that’s inside me
to fill your vases, lick up whatever rainbows
pour out of me to decorate the ground in puddles
when the mess has all been swept up
and the smoke has finally cleared.