by Erica Walsh
Love doesn’t know how to play the guitar. Love only knows
how to whistle to itself, on a blue night,
when the moon is low,
and you’ve forgotten your jacket.
I wish I could look at love, in the face, and say, “What the fuck is wrong with you,
Love — why don’t you ever ask me how my day is?”
I wish I could grab love by the lapels and say, “Kiss me already!”
I wish I could.
Love is Roll Over. Love is Here, Boy. Love is Come. Love is Stay. Love is Treat. Love is
Play Dead. Love is Good, Boy. Good.
Love is a diagnosis. Love is riding a bicycle
from your psychiatrist’s hotel room
to the trampoline park.
Love is jumping up and down
instead of taking your medicine. Love is grinding up pills
and sprinkling them into your yogurt. Love is praying
to the dead.
Love is going to sleep hungry. Love is waking up full.
Love is dressing in drag at two A.M. on a Wednesday
and going grocery shopping.
Love is peeling an orange with gloves on. Love is “No, not yet,
but someday. Someday.” Love is crying at the ice-skating rink
because your ankles won’t stop wobbling.
Love is never learning how to wink. Love is never learning how to paint
with acrylics. Love is insisting that you’re over it,
and never getting over it.
Love is waking up in a strange-smelling bed when you’re happy. Love is falling
asleep on a porch swing when you’re sad.
Love holds my hand across the dinner table. Love touches the spots
I’m too nervous to ask anyone else to touch.
Love thinks we should see other people. Love kisses me
on the forehead.
Love says, “I really am proud of you,” and I shake my head
like I don’t want to hear it.