I Begin the Year Inside a River
Your arms around me,
And beyond what either of us can see
This stream, steady and reliable,
Meets and pours into an ocean.
I answer to new sugared names:
Cariño, tesoro, beloved. Love —
Forgive me. In youth,
I bound myself to what I knew
Would leave me — Believed that was my worth.
What I wanted most was to share my living
Now I wake before
You teeter out of bed sleep worn.
I grind coffee, boil water,
Measure dark grounds spoonful by spoonful.
This is how everything is built —
Cup after cup — Kiss after kiss —
I am making you a promise.
This is all I know of devotion —
That you will find me
Always at this blue hour
Waiting for you.
That I will curl up
Beside you in our bed — Be a single ear
Feeling your quiet and whirring sleep.
That in your fever,
I will bring you a blanket, cool clear water —
Rub salve on the soles of your feet and slip
Pink marl socks over them.
That I will keep flowers in the vase
Of our small home because, yes, its true —
Not only the dead
Are deserving of blossoms.
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