Tuesday, March 10, 2015


How I love you in this house today

In this world there are many ways
in which I could say this. One might be the way
I adjust the blinds of the kitchen window, below which
sits the supple veins of aloe we potted yesterday.
Or, it’s the way the lithe pothos vines might cascade
along the white trellis we’ve talked about
building for weeks now. It might be the red cactus
flower, blooming like a finned, downy mouth
on the cocked rail of the balcony. This life is all
I can think about these days. This soil and water.
Every slight wing of rain. It’s true, we have no money.
But look—watch the tillandsia today, the flickering
breeze through their tender stalks, peering over
the mouths of mason jars in blue daylight. Imagine
a world in which this could go on forever. Sowing and
reaping in green and blue infinity, letting the earth seep
into the golden oil of your palm. Imagine a world
in which I love you like this multitude of water
flowing over the dappled pebbles that cull it,
which is happening, here, in this house today, and
in this house, today which is happening, which is love.

So I'm falling back into old habits, like waking up at 4 in the morning and thinking, "Now would be a good time to write," instead of turning over and going back to sleep. It's been a struggle to keep writing this year, but in comparison, I've actually done far more this year than I have in all my years of med school combined.

But it nags at me. Makes me use up my precious sleep time on the first morning I go back to the hospital for clinical anything since last summer.

Angie stirs and I almost talk myself out of getting up. There's a fold in her waist, where her hip tilts up and angles into her side and back--I place my hand in it and count the lines of orange light cast down from the blinds. I remember in high school, I thought romance was things like film noir, smoke, mystery, black-and-white stills of Rita Hayworth or Ingrid Bergman under venetian blinds. Now I'm thinking this scene in my own bedroom could be that if the colors were just grayed out. But that's all less about substance and more about flare. There's much more to know in these silhouettes and the fold of my wife's waist than I would've imagined as a teenager.

A friend of mine once wrote, "All I want to do is love and write, in that exact order." He joined the coast guard about a decade ago to pay for college, and now they've also more or less paid for law school and two kids. As a recruit, he was once made to stand at attention and recite poetry for his ranking officers--

"What did you do before you came here, you useless turd?!"

"Sir! I was a poet, sir!"

"You were a what???"

He ultimately hung his hat up on writing for a while though. He gave some reasons, but I think it was just life catching up. You know how life tends to do that. On a recent phone call, we talked about Christmas cards, his son's diet ("What's that he's eating? No, I definitely see him chewing something."), and the Lego movie.

Sometimes, I also think what he used to. Love and write, in that order. Other times, I think maybe it's just enough to love. Just love, I think. But then I think, just write, too. Maybe they're the same for some people.

Anyway, good morning. It's a miraculous world that's happening today. HIV Team 6 starts in one hour.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

How do I like this post. Thumbs up.

On Piano Lessons and Cancer Patients

              When I was six, my mother and father saw me once playing with an electric keyboard at a friend’s house. While the adults ate ...