A Poem About Love

I have learned that love
is a malleable thing.

It builds fences
and abruptly tears them down.

It is never what you think
and always what you want.

I have learned that love
is a complicated thing.

Unattached
to the hopes you had for it.

Love instructs
From within
and without

I have learned that love
is a sorrowful thing.

When you think
you can’t can’t have it
don’t deserve it.

When it leaves
unsuspectingly

And slips
into places you have not yet been.

I have learned that love
is a freeing thing.

If you let it be
And choose to believe

That love
is everything.

Alexander and the….

Sometimes nothing is right.
You can’t sleep.
And the errand takes 2 hours longer than it’s supposed to.
And the keys go missing
Just in time to need to move your car to evade a parking ticket.
And your hour haircut turns into three (making you late to work)
And no customers come
Because winter finally remembered its role.
And they forget the lettuce and tomato on your burger
After you waited an hour for it to come
And you’re so hungry because that errand took 2 hours longer than it was supposed to.
And the coffee lady is always so cheerful….but so damn slow.

And then, at the end of the day, you layer up, put your music on
And you run

Right foot
Left foot
Right foot
Left foot
Breathing
And running
running
running

And all the things that weren’t right
Are now specks behind you
Days behind you, even
And now, it is just you
And the ground
And the cold
And the music
And the river
Whose water you can actually smell
With each breath

Lady Liberty greets you with her steadfast confidence
Torch still burning after all these years
As if to stay
“I am still standing, still burning brightly.”

And her surety reminds me
And I too
Burn brightly

Me
and my breath
and right foot
left foot
the river
and this body
running and running and running

And at home
There is no hot water.

 

Rants on Love

I went to another Brooklyn Poets YAWP last night.  The theme was “rants” (positive or negative).  Remember–said our teacher–rants are not thought out.  They are messy and careless and unafraid to be any of those things.  Hello, Killing Superwoman in the flesh!

And so I ranted.  About my yellow coffee mug (“..would marry it if that sort of thing made any kind of sense”) and my last great date (“…sunk into your chest and we were drinking cheap beer and you had on your fancy shoes…”) and American Apparel (“nerds reclaiming cool or whatever fucking fantasy they are trying to live”) and ATM fees (“I have no money to begin with!”) and stereotyping (“that is how the KKK was formed”) and how much I love my future partner:

To the One

I’ve been telling you that I love you for so long
That the fact I haven’t met you has no bearing on this situation
I love you for listening
For just listening and knowing I have something important to say, even when you have no idea what that is
I love you for knowing that sometimes the things I need to do are more important than yours
Much more.
I love you for the tender way you hold me when I spit on you
I love you for your tenderness.  So much do I love you for your tenderness
I love that we speak in the same silent language–a dialect I thought only I had made up and learned
I love you for being stronger than me
And weaker than me
I love that you notice my outfits and my haircuts but not my pimples or my bitchiness
I love that you are gangster but aren’t too big for a skinny jean
Or a conversation with a khaki pant
I love that you put my mom in her place without her even knowing
And that you protect me when I can’t say no
Which is a more than a lot
I love you
Because you stayed.
I love you

Commencement

To those that grew up thinking best was never meant for you
Who believed that was true
I feel for you

For the women who never owned the space or thought they could
Your voice is there
For the using, not the taking

And the young who committed themselves to particular walls
Built not of your own accord
Be free
To paint the skies in your magical hues

And to the artists who never knew they were
Your unsigned work graces us
With reflections of our truest selves

To those whose names were written out of history
You live in us
As an ache of who we are to be

And to those whose declarations
Feel forever cloaked in silence
Keep writing
Your fertile ground awaits