14 Love Songs
Above a pond, I sit on a wooden bench
and throw pebbles into the willows.
A rush of sunlight and wind creates a path in a channel of water, dances
between the melting ice and brown islands of bulrush.
The resident osprey, its eyes the color of yellow grass,
follows my tossing hand.
Love is a diorama of inner life in an outer world.
I look down and find a chunk of fossilized rock
with an entire Paleozoic shell sticking out.
I am not afraid of love, but terrified of how it is my steady guide.
Once, when tired, I wandered off the trail and crawled under a tree to rest.
I woke to a young brown bear licking my boot.
Nothing had ever felt that good.
When I say I love you, what I mean is I wouldn’t leave you.
Even if love is not loved back it doesn’t go away,
although it may become a black hole.
Could this be what it’s like for trees to lose the green from their leaves?
At noon the light shifts and the pond turns
into a mosaic of opaque green ice.
Orange carp rise in these cold watery chambers to breathe at the surface.
Always I am in love. Face to face with the sun. Face to face with the moon.
From Not into the Blossoms and Not into the Air (Parlor Press, 2019).
Copyright © 2019 by Parlor Press. parlorpress.com. Used with permission.