How do you measure a relationship?
We’ve lasted four.
I’d try to get it down to the second,
but I’m bad at math.
I’d rather measure ours
Like the first night we spent together
and stayed up until 3am talking
about…you know, I’ve forgotten;
but I do remember the sound of your voice,
like a roll of thunder over my skin,
and how I wished your fingers had chased the sounds.
We were so silly
the day we decided moving in together
was the best solution to our first real argument.
But I was frustrated–I missed you,
and you won’t admit it,
but you missed me, too,
and even though it was stupid,
it worked out all right in the end.
I remember the day I dyed my hair
and you said I looked beautiful
and we tumbled into bed together
and some months and days later
we named our son after your grandfather.
It’s weird, isn’t it,
that buying a house together was scarier
than those 16 hours of pain.
A lot can happen in four years.
I’m curious to see what the next
four years will bring–
maybe a daughter?
—For my SO, for putting up with me for so many years.
My headstone will be a dollar sign
made of cold green marble.
It will not say
“Rest In Peace,”
and it will not tell you
when or how I lived,
nor have any cute anecdotes–
instead, there will be an itinerary
of every time a little
piece of me died because
I could not afford a peaceful life.
I could not even afford
a peaceful death.
Like a porcupine’s quills,
your hair stands in every direction.
Up and down and straight and curled–
well, only one curl, actually.
Right on the top of your head,
and it reminds me of another time
when your hair stuck straight up;
sort of like Alfalfa’s,
and you were so cute then–
not that you’re not cute now!
It’s just that you’ve lost the baby fat,
and your face is contoured,
instead of round like a little ball.
Still, you have the same dopey smile,
and have the same silly hair,
and the same goofy laugh.
You’re not so changed after all.
I can see flashes of the baby
you were in the toddler
you have become.
I just hope some day,
when you’re grown and care
about what your hair looks like
versus how much fun it is
when mommy tickles your cheeks,
that I’ll see flashes of the child
in the man you will become.
with any number of gross things
and white eyes,
the pupils long since chewed off
it’s a broken thing,
with open-mouthed kisses
and tiny fingers sunk deep
he pours into it
and his tears
the blue fur,
matted and gross,
absorbs it all
absorbs the simple love
of my little boy
and gives it back with a smile
like butterfly wings
and I said
“It’s like falling in love all over again.”
tickles became jabs
like a heartbeat,
pulse a staccato rhythm
A drop falls
and then another.
across the yellow of a traffic line.
The ripples slowly spread outward
forever the touch of another.
As the Wheel turns
from Winter to Spring,
there’s an ache in my bones.
along with the flora; my soul,
a bud on the tree of life
from each caress of the sun’s