by Belinda Roddie
Love trickles into the room
as softly as sparse sunlight
on a string. It descends from
warmed glass and rests in
between sheets and blankets.
And like an uninvited guest,
it settles into all your personal
spaces: sleeping atop the creases
in your throw pillows, reclining
on your favorite chair, sitting
in the corner that you designated
for your worst moments. Sandwiched
between guilt and doubt, love
expects to make itself at home, even
when you didn't ask for its presence.
You make mountains on the comforter
that rises against our bodies. I hold
each fold of you against me, as if
accepting the waves that crash against
my shore. Your body is honest with
me; it is under no obligation to
connect with anyone, and yet, here
it lies, each curve symmetrical with
my personal work of art. We are
carved in the same graven image.
When it gets dark, love makes no
attempt to leave. It nestles into
the niches and recesses near the walls.
It becomes accommodated to negative
space. If we move too slowly, it becomes
impatient. Too quickly, and it runs
out of breath and needs resuscitation.
As each star snaps back its woven
eyelid, love counts it as it would a bead
in its glove. It palms each tiny light
and holds them like a collection of
our worries and fears. It pockets them.
Sometimes, love is the appraiser
who scrutinizes the semblance
of passion between two or more. And
often, it gouges its value. But for us,
we adjust to the faces we find in
the ceiling. Stucco silhouettes holding
up firmaments. We indulge in our own
fantasies in the hopes that they may
grow wings and build nests in the
real world. Love sates us. It becomes
the latest tenant in the arrangement
we have agreed to, and it pays its
share of the rent in astral projections.