Love is walking in the dark
and observing the way that shadows look like human-shaped tears fallen upon the landscape,
rippling and stretching their watery silhouettes in the lengthening blue of moonlight
as you stumble, hand in hand, over sidewalk cracks and dandelion weeds while gazing upward,
each of you giving up on deciphering ancient constellations and instead making up your own—
the gardenia you wore in your hair on your wedding day;
the used Pontiac you drove with all your earthly belongings from Indiana to Detroit, a Pomeranian on your lap;
the birdlike outline of your baby’s skull as proposed by the ultrasound and the musical stanza of his first cries;
the Mission fig sapling you planted in your new home that soon blocked out the sun,
its branches dropping perfumed fruit like jammy bombs as gold-breasted finches fought
with scrub jays five times their size for a taste of ambrosia;
the chair you slept on at the hospital as you waited through the night, repeating the words of the prophet Isaiah when sleep was a joke;
the tree that was struck by lightning and fainted in the yard, missing the house by what seemed like mere inches;
the shape of your hands when they are clasped together beneath the blankets in winter—
connecting the dots of your life to the holes in Heaven’s dome,
patterns of stars that will serve as inside jokes for eternity,
etched in the sky for all to see, but understood by no one.
No one but you.
Cover image by Annie Spratt.