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Taking a break from angry, post-election poems to share a love poem.

* * *

I remember all those years ago
watching you come and go.
My sisters and I would disappear
when we’d hear
the slam of car doors in the driveway,
signaling that you and your friends
were on your way inside.

But you were my brother’s friend,
a dead end, forbidden fruit,
and, besides, you were older,
super cute, Supertones,
and way out of my zone,
too cool to take notice of your friend’s
school-aged sister.

But imagine my surprise,
the summer when you were 29,
I went to my brother’s going away party
partly for the chance to see you,
hoping you’d be there,
and there you were.
And, my gosh, you looked as good as ever,
as clever and witty and unwittingly
charming and disarming me.
What a mystery you were and still are.

I almost blew it so many times
right from the beginning
my spinning mind
and lack of finesse
combined with utter awkwardness.
I thought I didn’t stand a chance
but you gave me that second glance
and there’s been no looking back.

And it turned out
you were just as awkward–
now, before you say another word,
remember that first kiss
when I could smell the Listerine
on your breath
and all those books fell on our heads
the second my lips touched yours?

That’s what made me sure
you were just my type of crazy
and maybe we could be something.
Between you breaking coat racks,
and getting attacked by unsuspecting
furniture that obscures your walk,
and all that talk about smoothness
when you can’t take Communion
without making a mess
like the one you made that time
when you spilled the frozen fries
on the grocery store floor?

But I’m the one who slams her phone
in car doors
and moves through life like a boar
in a china cabinet,
and you never let me forget it.
I’m the one who can’t use a kitchen knife
without slicing her fingers,
the one who lingers
too long in the passing lane,
and complains way more
than she should.

But, my love,
we make one heck of a team,
don’t we?
And, baby, I still think
you’re way too cool for me
but now I see you’re just as clumsy
and way more nerdy
and I love that about you.

I love your deep belly laugh,
the way it catches you by surprise
and the way your eyes
can never stay open in pictures.
I love your steady presence,
the scent of your skin,
and I hate how you always win
when we play games but,
at the same time,
I know I wouldn’t want to lose
to anyone else.

You got me to read Harry Potter
and listen to podcasts
and acted like you liked the books
I suggested even though
you never finished them.
And when I’m depressed
or upset, way too out of control
or barely holding it together,
you help me weather it all.

You, with your feet on the ground
and mine in the clouds,
we’ll meet in the middle
and that’s how we’ll walk this path,
giving a little
and laughing a lot,
and even if we’re all each other’s got
that will always be more than enough.