Aahhh, I have so many things I want to write to you, thoughts and happenings and dreams.
For now, here is a poem in progress. I read it at our town's spoken word evening and I'm still working on it, but here it is right now.
It has taken many years, my love,
Inhalation of spring, exhalation of bright
Leaves that scatter over mountains and dust along
Or, a different sort of year:
One that starts with cold,
Then blankets the hills with smoke and heat and yellowing leaves
Fire necklaces on the mountains
Dragons winding their way up to find the hidden stars again,
And then rain
Water streaming from the sky, plunging, falling, washing, crying
over death until life comes again and everything is new
And steam rises from rice fields and we walk through wet air
Wiping it from our foreheads and chins, wading through a wet sky.
Anyway, you know what a year is, I don’t have to tell you.
At the time of this reading we have seen fourteen of them together,
All different sorts of them, leaping, falling, limping, tumbling.
The kind where cars break down and you can’t pay for it so you
sit on the side of the road for hours with your head in your hands
Or people yell. Or children go to the hospital, or the kind of year when there is
fire in the grasses, angry hedgehogs, furious cattle with bruises and scrapes.
And there are the beautiful years where the days fly so fast that you barely touch them
Before they’ve slipped away.
Years. It has taken many years, my love,
For me to know that love is not for perfection,
Human perfection, anyway,
Because perfection is tight, smooth, too slippery to hold,
Too airy to caress, too overwhelming to approach.
Love cannot permeate perfection’s marble surfaces.
No, love is for waiting, and dying, and crumbling.
Love is for reaching and breathing, and being out of breath.
Love is for genteel poverty, or true poverty, for picnics on train station floors.
For stumbling and running to catch up. Love is for clothes with holes,
For birthday presents that aren’t quite right.
Love is for bitten nails.
For forgotten anniversaries, pods of orcas, and the tiniest of geckos running along the ceiling
Love reveals, and love protects,
Love grows bigger and bigger, filling all the holes,
Reaching the unlovable places, and expanding them,
Love is for old broken days in the hospital,
And mornings when the sky is so blue you could tap it and it would ring like a bell
Love is for your eyes
And your hands.
And your mouth kissing mine.
For when you play the piano and the world is filled with golden light
For when the kids are getting along.
Marriage is a greenhouse for love.
I remember a year that was so bad I wasn’t sure that I would get through it
And even then, with the world on fire,
And houses that bent and broke, loss, and the birds all quiet in their trees,
I knew that I would follow you anywhere.
Because our love is for
Your sleepless nights, my early mornings
The egg shape of my round belly,
The five births you walked me through, the pools of milk,
The day we lost the tiniest of souls
It was for our youth and it is for gray hair, and it will be for our old and fragile bones,
When we will sail anywhere we want and live in our boat.
It is for asthma and high blood pressure
and that one time I got a dog when you were away and then you
Never let me forget it and pretended that you hated her when you
Actually secretly love her.
We swell with our love, each year we rise a little higher
Like lanterns in a river of light
And we might float away completely
If it wasn’t for sliding back to earth together to
find rivers and creek beds where the love can soak in.
And we find each other here, stunningly imperfect,
Sun-warm, arms and legs and faces touching,
Our greenhouse holding us, nurturing us, and stretching the greenest,
Lightest of limbs,
Into a sky so blue, you could tap it and it would ring like a bell.