On the Back of an Emily Dickinson Poem I Wrote About Your Hands

Your hands are
bigger than mine
your fingers
wrapping around mine
with ease as we
lie in bed
a tangle of
sheets and blankets and
pillows and limbs
or walk through the grocery store
discussing what I’ll make for dinner
and what you can
do to help
In the evening they
find their way to my hips
and I move them
your right hand on my back
your left holding mine
and we dance slow circles
in the living room
stopping more and more often
to kiss until
that is all we’re doing
We wander to bed
and I sit with your
arm around me
your fingers
combing through my hair
reading you poetry by
Galway Kinnell until
I’m half-asleep and you
tuck me in
one last kiss goodnight before you
turn the light out and
press yourself to me
as we fall asleep
your hands holding mine

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First Snow

You cross your arms
and bury your face
in the grey scarf
I knitted you
as we stand outside and
watch the snow fall.
I put a hand
on your shoulder and
lead you back inside
to the kitchen
where my mother has
made us mugs of tea.
I can see the
wonderment in your face
as you sip the
steaming liquid
still staring out the window.
It’s your first real snowfall
and I lost count of
how many I’ve seen
years ago
but as we warm our
stiff fingers by the fire
it’s like my first time seeing it
all over again.

Faith in Forever

Her eyelids droop
and you can tell she’s
struggling to stay awake
You close the book
and she tries to tell you to
keep reading
but you are settling yourself
under the quilt
and turning out the light
pulling her into you so her
head is on your shoulder
your arm around her back
With your other hand
you take hers
hold it to your heart
as you hum a lullaby
She sighs as she
gives in to sleep
and you lie
awake in the dark
her warm breath
tickling your collarbones
as you wonder how
nights like this became your
every night
when you thought you had
lost your faith in
forever.

Perhaps she became it.

Daddy

I watch as you

slowly kill yourself

not even realizing you’re doing it.

You don’t understand

what the problem is

or that there’s even a problem to begin with

And it scares me to think

that you can’t see

the monster

eating you from within

Letters

We’ve been writing each other letters all summer, and every time I read my name in your handwriting, it feels like coming home.  If I close my eyes, I can see you carefully curling your wrist forward around your pen, to trace it out in thin, neat cursive, making sure not to smudge the ink with the side of your hand.

I wonder how you feel, seeing your own name in my sloppy script, as you read my replies.  Do you feel as warm and safe, knowing it’s in good hands?  Or at least, hands that try to be good.  Sometimes they can’t help but indulge themselves, moving my pen to outline love letters and poems, or sappy musings such as these.

Perhaps someday I will know exactly how you feel, watching you read my words, seeing the changes in your face as the corners of your lips turn up to smile.

Mockingbirds

My insecurities plague me
pecking at my mind
like mockingbirds
imitating the calls
of thoughts I
had in passing
making them
echo in my head.

I think I will
let them feast
on what’s left of my sanity
so that perhaps I can
go back to thinking
everything is okay
and truly believe it again.

Winter Storm

The wind is howling, and I can barely see the graveyard out my window through all the snow.  It’s safe and warm in my room, but the draft in my window, and the the wail of the wind against it keeps me awake, and thinking of you.  Hoping you’re safe, inside your own room, away from this winter storm.

Insomnia

Thunder makes the house shake

and I lie awake in my bed

wishing sleep were an option

but something intangible keeps me awake

anxious over nothing and everything

all at once…

 

Perhaps the rain that accompanies this storm

will be kinder

a softer lullaby to soothe my nerves

pattering on the roof

making the sky’s tears replace my own.

Grey Eyes

It’s strange to think
about how you’ll
never truly
see your own eyes
only ever
reflections and pictures.
You’ll never see how
truly beautiful they are
how they light up
when you’re excited
how soft they seem
when you’re sleepy and content.

I never knew I could
fall so deeply
in love with
a color
much less grey
until I
saw your eyes.
Grey is not just stone
but storm clouds and rainclouds
It’s the waves of the ocean
when the sun has just set
It’s dove feathers and
mountain peaks
and it’s the color of
the most beautiful
eyes I’ve ever seen
The eyes of the boy I
fell in love with.