Give Thanks Day 7: Love poems

Give Thanks is a daily series of posts through November that chronicle what I’m thankful for. The format is a big deal on Facebook or something.

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A recent favorite, with verses that have been spinning through my head: “Open Letter to the Last Person I will Ever Love” by poet Carrie Rudzinski.

Here’s the text:

“On the blackened beaches of the island known as Kona,
the lanterned hands of Pacific hearts
appear in the eyelid of morning –

heavy,
like a seed in your throat
ready to be swallowed,

they arrive with pockets of white stones
plucked from the tongues of highways

and they spell out the names of the people they have lost;
like giant love letters of the Earth
swirling across the volcanic heart of the ocean,
fury in their fingers
as if they could teach the sky about reflection.

Welcome to The Beginning.

I want you to remember
what you were doing with your hands
when you were capable
of not chasing
and not wanting to be chased.

When you are ready,
This is how we will find each other:
stolen and whipping in the wind
crafting the pebbled bodies of our hearts –

I hope that we are more broken than we could ever imagine
so there are more parts of ourselves to know
than there ever were before,
tumbled and blistered by those who could not see us in the dark,
held like a fist of feathers.

We will understand that you only know people in the ages you meet them in
and we will continue anyway,
arthritis in our eyes –

I do not know how it will feel to be myself when I am old,
I am constantly the wrong age for my body –

I do not know if I will ever learn how to thank you
if I will know how to stop speaking Airport
if I will touch you like linoleum

but I will store all of your birthdays somewhere below my shoulders,
so when you wake with ceiling eyes
you will consider my mouth
pressed against yours –

how it is slower than imagined,
how everything is brimming
like dinner on a stove top.

I hope I never dream of you
so I am constantly discovering
what I have.

Overwhelmed every time you glimmer
like the glare of the sun
in the revolving of a door –
the eagerness of unbuttoning fingers,
the buckling of knuckles,
the crushing nature of hope.

You are everything and nothing like what I have waited for –
familiar as a perennial weed harbored in my stomach,

tumbling through each moment
with the feet of bicycles
to devour every part of this country
like a laugh in the night –
fingers of sparklers
teeth of split chins
restless believer in open spaces,
humming and listening
with the sun in your throat –

you don’t ever say much.
You just stand
like a mesa in the desert,
hopeful as the howling of wind against the garage door.
 
You are the only voice in the night
I will ever call back to –
stumbling everything I’ve believed
like an ocean of stars,
the silence of a first snow,
this notion of home.

I will love you
the exact way I always
wanted to be loved.

And when I lose you –
as death and the nature of men
have promised me I will –
I will find my way to the Pacific,
to the island known as Kona,
a fist of white stones

and I will write you

like the poem that you are.

© Carrie Rudzinski 2009
(Originally published in “A History of Silence” on Bicycle Comics Press.)

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