I can’t write a love poem.
I’m thinking too much about loss.
I’m thinking of the time when you came to my window
I was fifteen, you were Starlight Incarnate
in a borrowed ride, a black Toyota Celica
that you weren’t even driving.
I’m thinking about the night you went dancing
but came to my place instead, you called me
from the Bauhaus (your favorite coffeeshop? Mine too!)
after years apart, yet always somehow together.
You would never play the song from our wedding
because it made you cry, and I teased you
for being sentimental, and teased you again,
for taking me to see Apocalypse Now on our honeymoon.
I’m thinking about my picture of you
holding our baby in your hospital bed
nested in wires like a Geiger nightmare
a man staring down the twin barrels of life and death.
I’m thinking about you leaving, always leaving
family night, date night, weekends with the parents and you
constantly inching toward the door, your black bag
and coat permanently under your arm.
You got stoned and slept on the couch,
and I went out and stayed out later
as we became quietly unmoored from eachother.
Until, even together, we were somehow always apart.
I’m thinking that a love poem is a loss poem.
The seed holds implicit the certain promise
that one cold day the plant will wither,
it’s frail brown stalk will crumble and be done.