But about six months ago, I broke my boycott and started writing a series of love poems. —See prior blog entry for a bit more info on that...
This poem is the first in that series and it's for Aiko Yamashiro, who is one of the best and most generous people I have ever known. Aiko has reminded me that letting people into your heart is as joyous as it is terrifying— that love is supposed to be difficult and beautiful and fierce— that love is an act of faith leaping into the unexplainable space between— that in this day of cynicism and sound bytes, love is an act of revolution.
Seven years four months and fifteen days ago
we read love as a hopeless practice.
We defined affection
as horizontal alignment when we slept
and memories of good sex.
In our arms we cradled fear
as a twin to love
and confused them with towers.
Today love wrings us dry. We
blink too often, but finally sit, a table between us.
Between four hands rests courage
on a platter, an offering we cannot pass off
as jackass punking or chalk down to artless youth.
Five years ago
we called love stupid.
We thought scaling the ragged peaks of mountains
in a hail storm
the smarter choice
as if thinner air and falling skies might
make our grief weightless, but without gravity
our hearts became spherical as satellites,
peripheral to our bodies.
Inside us we shrank our wishbones to nothing,
jumped on heady winds and forgot
Three years ago
love was still stupid
still commitments to badlands,
foolish dives into mirages
or battles against uninhabitable masses.
Two years ago love
was a rose by any other name
and red for the first time.
between our four fists
on a platter when we stretched our heart globes
to elliptical shadows
--risked holding hands
with the wounded
and called them namesakes.
Yes, we are large enough
for this table sitting among white beards
who confuse faith with invasion
and sanctuary with anxious greed.
we put naive on a table
on a platter
placed closer to hope
than to fear.
We promised to be naive
to be sweet
so we might hope
we could be better
we could do better
than we have done.
Today love wrings us dry
after almost drowning.
In a mouth of water we drink salt
and dare to imagine the brackish
without suffocation and homelands