First Kiss Haiku
You and I kissing
That poem would write itself
Over and over
She was sitting in the back of her truck,
catching wishing flowers in her mouth.
“Wishing flowers?” you asked.
“The seed head of a Taraxacum — The Dandelion.
Sometimes people blow every single seed off its head,
but you’re supposed to throw the entire crown in the air and let the wind guide it.
I need to catch them
to taste people’s wishes.”
You needed to marry her.
Plucking a dandelion out of the ground,
you tore the flower off of its stem and planted the wish in her mouth.
“My dress will be yellow,” she said.
51 years of clumsy sex,
jobless months, child proof doorknobs,
love letters, church gatherings, family meetings,
anxiety pills, road trips and pit stops, droughts,
floods, canvases, smashed bottles, make-up sex, postcards,
diets and binges, museums, dictionaries, photo albums,
dinner conversations, wishing flowers and
her flimsy memory.
The doctors warned you of a progressive disease
that deteriorated the recollection of her words,
her actions, her loved ones,
The fifty second year brought the confusion;
the time loss,
her lack of reason for missing your daughter’s birthday.
“I forgot,” she said.
You found half of your book collection in the freezer.
When the kitchen stove caught on fire
all she could tell you was “forget”.
It is the season of wishing flowers
and you bring home a bundle.
“Why do you feed me weeds?” she asks.
The doctors suggested cues;
prompts to rid of her passiveness —
to regain her initiative.
“Let’s take a walk,” you say.
She refuses to walk with a stranger.
Her memory loss left you believing
that we are alive only to forget;
that in the entire 53 years you were married,
the only noise left were her screams every morning,
waking up next to you.
But you refused to forget her,
and when she passed away,
you tacked a timeline of photographs
in every room of your house.
Two years later,
you are unable to remember your name.
Let me tell you a
secret about when
I realized I loved him
it was sometime
after midnight and
we had shed our clothes
and walls like snake skin
and I started believing
in his eyes like I had
I pinched the skin
on my sides, and smiled
with my mouth, but not
with my eyes and I
admitted that I was not
completely happy with myself
(in fact, I have never been
completely anything, I have
always had just one foot
in the water, or half my heart
out in the open)
Shocked, he held and kissed me
and then said (jokingly) that
“Only my opinion matters,
And I think you’re beautiful,
and I love being with you.”
And oh God, how much I do love being whole again.