A Valentine’s day poem
I hold November as a keepsake but don’t hold that against me.
It’s but the blood in my cheeks that calls me Rosy that I long for.
It is she, the cold, golden thing that falls in love with the turning of leaves
And the momentum at which the earth receives them.
She is the one with the fireplace heart, gaping and feverish,
Warm as a cabin hearth and feet curled alongside, smothered in wool.
Might I cling to her hopeless hope and tired desires,
Tucked close like a hug-me-tight shrug, I could yet call February home.
I am a different kind of cold here, atop a sullied earth which
Births a mocking shamrock snuggled amid melting white soil.
A lover will catch me in its petal pink clutches by the month’s end, I’m sure,
Knit me a blanket out of x’s and o’s, make a keeper out of me, kiss my eyelids closed.
They will make me forget November, the leaves, the blood in my cheeks
And swaddle me, elbows cradling ribs, into a springtime embrace
I won’t fight it this time, now that I know what’s coming.
This love is kinder than what I’ve left behind, and steadier.
I met him down in County Blue
A boy from Avonlea.
He waited on me hand and foot
And loved me tenderly.
A kiss arrived, too soon, the first
For bliss was in full bloom.
A gentle heart and borrowed lace
Gave me my honeymoon.
So joy and glee danced on and on
Though one has left the other
And I remain in County Blue
Mourning my youth’s late lover.
You’re the laugh sitting on my collarbone
Some touch between my heart and throat
Or do I cradle you in my cupid’s bow?
Let you linger in the crook of my elbow?
Or maybe you’re my crinkled nose
The smile that burns my cheekbones
Turning my flesh to flaming coal
Tugging my toes to the center of my sole
Perhaps, by chance, you’re all of those
Though no one will ever really know
Just how close you kissed my soul
And just how quick you let me go