Wednesday, February 9, 2022


 Parts of Speech

What kind of word is love?

Is it a noun, something we point 

To like a tree or a bird,

The first cresting of a winter sunrise?

Or is it just a sterile abstraction

Summing mysteries we couldn’t describe otherwise?

There are those who say love is action

That it must be understood as a verb.

Holding your hand in the dark

Lashing you with wet spaghetti 

When you’re trying to stir the sauce 

A glass of bourbon waiting for when you get home

After the boss forgot to give you a break.

It’s showing up, every single day. 

Bringing you coffee

Flowers at work 

Belting out Sweet Caroline in the shower

But substituting your name.

Being there at the finish line 

Noticing when you bloom

Never looking through you

Always having time  

A series of acts that becomes a way of life

And near the end it stops moving so much

As everything else slows down.

Less is needed, less is done.

As things stop happening, a world takes shape. 

It becomes a noun again, a proper noun

With a capital L

Like a person with a name

That can only approximate the totality

Of all the things done

Of everything we have touched 

Of all we have left.

It isn’t close to being enough.

But I can whisper your name

As you snooze against my chest.

Some things must be named to be known

No matter how paltry the parts of speech.

We do the best we can.

We wait for the sun to pause its dawn ascent

For the clocks to momentarily stop

For a world rife with too many verbs and nouns

To dissolve into a wordless here and now 

And in the space before our next collective breath,

I whisper your name, the Love of my life


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