Editing a Love Poem

edit: do not
rely on metaphor
as no one wants to read about how

your love is like a tree trunk
standing against
come what may

wind whipping leaves off at spring limb
roots uncovered by bulldozer blade
or carved into with knives or blood or
the Hope of Next Year

love is flipping a coin
and letting you call it

love is the Mekong River
mostly mud and suffering

weaving tributaries through
farmlands and fertile lands and dry lands
and hours where you will not see another soul
and hours so crowded and clamoring
you’ll feel at one with the heartbeat of everything
uniquely held in the hull of the watercraft
brave enough to traverse her murky waters
love is the flood and love is the
vessel that withstands it

and nobody wants to hear about
how love is a rock skipping across
a smooth pond
mountain lake
clouds reflecting on split surface
because nobody wants to hear about
the ripples
and the waves
and the ways
that love skips years or months or moments
is lost underwater
comes up for air
spends moments or months or years
holding a breath
drowns fully
or sinks to the bottom of the sea
because love is lost, too, and often

edit: do not rely on simile
because nobody wants to hear about
the ways that

love is the long sigh after a deep sleep
love is the deep sleep
love is never falling asleep because
love is in being fully awake
fully visible
fully seeing and fully seen
but love is blind
and love sometimes goes for days without lifting her face to meet your gaze
and love sometimes cries her eyes out in loneliness while you’re
in the room where love takes place
because love takes up space
and love has boundaries
and love is boundless
and love is the lines between two destinations
but love isn’t a destination and doesn’t follow road rules
or roadways
or waylays or alleys or getting from A to B
because love isn’t a binary

love is the wind laugh on the tail of a kite string
love is no strings attached
freedom to dance and cartwheel
love is a rope swing in a tall tree
love is the noose around the neck of possibility
and love is the very essence of possibility

come what may

edit: nobody wants to read about the ways that love is
never enough

but love is a battle cry
not a victory march
and love only hurts because when loves isn’t there
there’s a ripped open
wound left in it’s absence
love is the bandaid
love is the bullet
love is the brainwash
and the memory
and the loss of the memory
and the damage done
and the healing
and love is the nurse that comes into the room
tears in her eyes
and tells you “six weeks”
love is the reality that we are all so very temporary that we must cling to the ways

that love

reimagines our lives
rebirths our promise
restarts our engines

edit: don’t rely on anecdote
but love is going out in the snow
zero degrees
scraping ice off a windshield
turning a key
shoveling a walkway
programming the coffee pot late at night
and waking up early to say goodbye

and sometimes love says goodbye because
sometimes love is a tree trunk
weathering a storm
and sometimes love is a cradle
made from a tree trunk that fell in a storm

edit: maybe just don’t
try to write about love