It began with my mother (like so many things)
Reading love poems in the computer room,
Skipping over the dirty ones, giggling at jokes I didn’t get,
And memorizing the look of her little red book.
But I didn’t make it sacred until I was
20 years old and the words “I love you,”
Fumbled out of my lips like a loose cannonball—
I wanted to say something more; I wanted to tell him
How it felt to be stupid, young, and in love with a disaster; I wanted to cure him
Of his faults with sweet words like dirty gospel,
And poetry was my way –
Because there’s a moment before the hammer hits the nail when
The nail starts to get anxious; and I got anxious around him.
I was waiting for the blow to land, for my
Beautiful disaster to fall apart, and I needed to say something
To capture the moments in between the possibility of having everything
And the reality of having nothing, watching his loud youth wash off;
Poetry was my way.