i am gathered here today
to speak about love, wrote us
a hundred verses and,
wouldn’t you know it, left them
stacked on the seat of a shrieking
train, and isn’t that love,
after all, showing up and
hoping beyond hope we can
get the words right?

and what do i know, except that
a stranger can wander into your
world and change the color of
every old corner, write his name
in songs you’ve sung a thousand
times before discovering what
they mean, make you feel foreign
in your own home, adrift
in your own body?

deep, shaky breath, the
kind of air that rattles in the
brittle doorways, and
i’ll tell you not what i know
but what i am fighting
to learn: love cannot flourish
in a body whose weight we
do not believe anybody can hold,
so tired of finding my
arms trembling after
believing myself held, untie
the knots, again, again,
and hope they don’t tangle
again tomorrow

so here we are
and here i am, voice unfamiliar
to the lover i was yesterday,
wanting and a bit bruised in
the floor-length mirror,
speaking on love and
waiting, waiting, for the echo

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