What was unforeseen is now a bird orbiting this field.
What wasn’t a possibility is present in our arms.
It shall be and it begins with you.
Our often-misunderstood kind of love deems dangerous.
How it frightens and confounds and enrages.
How strange, unfamiliar.
Our love carries all those and the contrary.
It is most incandescent.
So, I vow to be brave.
Clear a path through jungles of shame and doubt and fear.
I’m done with silence. I proclaim.
It shall be and it sings from within.
Truly we are enraptured
With Whitmanesque urge and urgency.
I vow to love in all seasons.
When you’re summer, I’m watermelon balled up in a sky-blue bowl.
When I’m autumn, you’re foliage ablaze in New England.
When in winter, I am the tender scarf of warm mercies.
When in spring, you are the bourgeoning buds.
I vow to love you in all places.
High plains, prairies, hills and lowlands.
In our dream-laden bed,
Cradled in the nest
Of your neck.
Deep in the plum.
It shall be and it flows with you.
We’ll leap over the waters and barbaric rooftops.
You embrace my resilient metropolis.
I adore your nourishing wilderness.
I vow to love you in primal ways.
I vow to love you in infinite forms.
In our separateness and composites.
To dust and stars and the ever after.
Intrepid travelers, lovers, and family
We have arrived.
Look. The bird has come home to roost.
From Threshold (CavanKerry Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Joseph O. Legaspi. Used with the permission of the author.
I’ve been cradling the heavy cat in the half-dark
For an hour
She likes how I make her feel
And I like her—
I was mean to the dog
And now he’s dead
Well, not mean
Cold in moments
He could have used the warmth
I could tell and still did nothing about it
And so here I am
Which I am accustomed to
And anyhow I am happy
To pay for such horrors, such ill manners
Of my character
Even if I do blame you for it—
How can I empathize with anything
When I can’t remember empathy
And you are the only mountain
For miles all around
I’ve had to learn to be kind again
To uncoil my tendrils into the light
Sometimes I pretend you are not a person
But a stone (how could I love
people again, if I didn’t?)
And I warn them: Little Ones,
Don’t learn from stones
They are too still
They are too sharp
Sometimes in the moonlight
They whisper terrible things
Copyright © 2021 by E. C. Belli. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 17, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.