Friday, January 14, 2005

Through This

Love me through this.
Kiss my forehead once.
Help me into my ill-fitting skins -
adulthood, motherhood.
If you have to labor 12 hours, 36 hours, forever, love me.
As my belly rounds and juts, love me for it.
Hold in your hand my swollen fingers,
pretend they are not fat as root vegetables.
Love me through this
when I cry that I hate you
when I float off to where you cannot follow
when the third jar this week
slips and shatters on the kitchen floor,
wringing out the mop, love me.
Love my acts of incompetence, unconsciousness,
lack of confidence.
Block the emergency exits and love me.
Love me like it's just the two of us,
like we have the answers in our morning tea.
Love the me who runs from this,
wild into the ivy and, hopelessly tangled,
falls again.
Love me like we planned this,
carefully, making dignified strokes of the pen -
a list of solace, an idea.
Love me as if the weight on your chest
were a postage stamp
easily floating about on the waves of your breath.
Whisper to me like I'm a one-night stand, a dying soldier,
cut out lies for me that hang around the doorframe, fragile paper dolls.
Love me through this for which the rewards
are meager – or great,
for which I have no map, hold no plan,
grab me by the shoulders and look at me,
as if you understand.

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