A Love Poem
My reading choices are subject to many whimical notions: the temperature, what I’m wearing, what I last ate, how much sleep I got the previous night, if Jupiter is in retrograde, my cat’s mood.
Sometimes, when the weather is just cool enough and I’ve been listening to Carla Bruni’s “Le Toi Du Moi” on repeat and Jupiter is, in fact, in retrograde, the only logical thing to read is love poetry (preferably near the humming music of water that is blue, early and instant blue).
by Mary Ruefle
I love you like pink tiles and white cigarettes
and the brown underfeathers of a fat hen
and I do not even know you, you are like my toes
which I have never seen because I was born in shoes
whose laces continually come undone
so I am forever stooped and while I am down
I gather for you all the porcupine quills
left by the rain, my collection is formidable
but not for sale, and when I am up
I make for you color enlargements of the day:
look at this cloud will you, until you arrive
I will not know if the rain fell beautifully
or dripped continually, I assume by now
my commitment to you is transparent
and that you accept the topographical error
in the depths of my atlas,
still there will be many mysteries between us,
you were not exactly here when my alarm clock was stolen
or my cat sold without my permission,
but those days are behind me,
after a life of expensive moments devoured by fogs
they mowed the fields into haystacks,
they covered the haystacks with white shrouds
and rolled them off to the side like stones
and brought in the trembling lights of a carnival
where it is my one desire
we will hang together upside down on the wheel
while the crowd gasps as you kiss me.
From Ruefle’s book, Indeed I Was Pleased with the World (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2007). Buy it.