Published on Academy of American Poets (

A Love Note

for Willem

My love,
you are water upon water
upon water until it turns
azure, mountainous.

The horizon fills like sand
between glass marbles. So much
has passed between us—

last night you told me
to press your hand
harder and harder as I pained.

The sunset was at its last
embers. The dark was stealing
the blue light from our room.

I was falling into you.

~ ~

Compress water and it turns to ice— compress beauty
and it loses breath. Gaze at it too long, and even the wide
mirror of the ocean will shatter.

~ ~

My Willem,
between us, God has descended in all His atoms.
We have not yet learned to hold Him.


Copyright © 2021 by Adeeba Shahid Talukder. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 20, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“‘A Love Note’ was a second anniversary gift for my husband Willem—Willem, who had held my hand through the deepest throes of mental illness, who had loved me so fiercely that I, at last, began to believe I deserved love. The poem came from a place of both wonder and fear—that a love so beautiful and delicate must be an illusion, that it was only a matter of time before it dissolved. I am awed each day as it perseveres; for me, it is only through the concept of God, despite my gripes with Them, that I can begin to comprehend it.”
—Adeeba Shahid Talukder


Adeeba Shahid Talukder

Adeeba Shahid Talukder is a poet, singer, and translator of Urdu and Persian Poetry. She is the author of Shahr-e-jaanaan: The City of the Beloved (Tupelo Press, 2020), winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize.

Date Published: 2021-07-20

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