I kept it in my freezer for seven months
‘til the day I hurt my leg
and needed something to reduce the swelling.
isn’t always magic.
Sometimes it’s just melting.
Where it’s black and blue.
Where it hurts the most.
Last night I saw your ghost
peddling a bicycle with a basket
towards a moon as full as my heavy head
and I wanted nothing more
than to be sitting in that basket
like ET, with my glowing heart glowing right through
my chest, and my glowing finger
pointing in the direction
of our home.
Two years ago I said, “I never want
to write our break-up poem.”
You built me a time capsule full of Big League Chew
and promised to never burst my bubble.
I loved you from our first date
at the batting cages
when I missed twenty-three balls in a row
and you looked at me like I was a home run
in the ninth inning of the World Series.
Now every time I hear the word love
I think, going, going…
The first week you were gone
I kept seeing your hand wave goodbye
like a windshield wiper in a flooding car
in the last real moment I believed
the hurricane would let me out alive.
Yesterday I carved your name into the surface
of an ice cube then held it against my chest
‘til it melted into my aching pores.
Today I cried so hard the neighbors knocked on my door
and asked if I wanted to borrow some sugar.
I told them if I left my sweet tooth in your belly button.
isn’t always magic.
But if I offered my body to the magician,
if I told him to cut me in half
so after that I could come to you whole
and ask for you back
would you listen
for this dark alley love song?
For the winter we heated our home
from the steam off our own bodies?
I wrote you too many poems in a language
I did not yet know how to speak
but I know now
it doesn’t matter how well I say grace
if I am sitting at a table where I have no bread to eat.
So this is my wheat field.
You can have every acre, love.
This is my garden song.
This is my thunderstorm,
this is my fistfight with that bitter frost.
Tonight I begged another stage light
to become that back-alley street lamp we danced beneath
that night your warm mouth fell on my timid cheek
as I sang, “Maybe I Need You”
but in tune.
Maybe I need you the way that big moon
needs that open sea.
Maybe I didn’t even know I was here
‘til I saw you holding me.
Give me one room to come home to.
Give me the palm of your hand.
Every strand of my hair is a kite string
and I have been blue in the face with your sky,
crying a flood over Iowa
so your mother can wake to Venice.
Love, I smashed my glass slipper
to build a stained glass window
for every wall inside my chest.
Now my heart is a pressed flower in a tattered Bible.
It is the one verse you can trust.
So I’m putting all of my words in your collection plate.
I am setting the table with bread and grace.
My knees are bent
like the corner of a page.
I am saving your place.