I wanted to post a new poem this month, something from scratch that might be worth revising, but to be honest, I've written some decently depressing stuff this month. Nothing seems to match the tone of February, of Valentines Day, of spring's first hints, of a month that is no longer steeped in the craziness of winter holidays but isn't quite as warm as we'd like it to be either.

So I think I'll post an older poem. This is one of my very few love poems, and it was originally published in Tiger's Eye (2008, Issue 16) before being printed in my chapbook, Me and Coyote (Lost Horse Press). I tried to think about love from what I considered a very objective point of view-- contemplating the way it is never what I seem to think it is. While I wrote "How I Love You," I thought about how love is too tricky to define... which kind of sucks, because I enjoy definitions. I like answers. But maybe love has too many definitions, too many answers. That's good, right?

For example, my relationship with Tom has always, in a pleasant way, surprised me. Not only did I not intend to get married while I was an undergraduate, I certainly didn't intend to marry someone in the military. But I feel as if I'm never finished talking to him, never quite done being around him. He's so intelligent and hilarious that I decided it might be worth it to put up with the military-- not embrace it, no, but develop some tolerance and take the good with the... less than ideal. My love for him is, I guess, based on opposites, based on not-knowing.

It's occurred to me that someone might read this post and interpret it in a way that I didn't intend, and that brings me back to the format of the poem. I can never point out a couple and define their love. (Well, I can, but it'd be wrong, so chances are it'd be funny too, and I'd only end up telling Amy while we're on the bus to hell.) Love has too many dimensions.

Maybe that's why I don't write about it much.


strange as a jack in the pulpit opening her brown velvet eye into the ground

resilient as veins of ivy pointing with countless arrows to their hearts

distracted as a passionflower letting her vines do the dancing

kinky as three vanilla beans soaking in a bottle of vodka

ragged as the dishtowel hanging from your oven door

simple as a brown moth translucent on the window

silent as a silver key sleeping in a painted lock

naïve as paper flowers tied to a palm tree

persuasive as a brick of chocolate

faultless as a marble Madonna

pious as a sprig of lavender

constructive as a cricket

I love you more than

an iron fence

loves her




dot said…
This poem kills me ever dang time.

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