Various and Sundry Poetry

strong

You don't have to be as strong
as you think you do.
You can come limping up the stairs,
stagger into my kitchen for water
and drink it as indelicately as a toddler,
and I will gaze at you with the same wonder
that broadsided me when I first realized
I could love you.
It does not matter if you are lost, or sick, or scared,
if the words you utter are gibberish or song,
if waking up makes your hair look funny,
if you forget the keys, if you burn our dinner,
if disaster is your ally.
You can enter my house like an elephant,
leave dirty handprints against the wall,
chew the mint directly off its pot
and I would whisper your name
like the caress it always is.

Love, I will falter too.
I will drive down a street that says
"Do Not Enter" and I will have missed the sign.
I will bump tender hips into the sharp corners
of every piece of furniture in the house
and curse louder than necessary.
I will make irreversible errors,
clutter the countertop with my messy heart,
leave wounds brutal and bleeding.
I will not fold the laundry into neat corners.
I will step haphazardly into a field of nettles.
I will almost ruin myself to catch you for the split second
you are catchable.

We don't have to be as strong
as we think we do.
If we wanted, we could fall
as easily as plastic soldiers.
We could slide our feet into the gutter
and wait for the rain,
sit so still our breath would sound
like a waterfall miles away.
If we wanted, we could unmake the plans
that married us to safety.
We could take the next exit
instead.
We could feed the world with our spectacular frailty.
We could start all over again.
We could let the glass shatter
into sand.