Poem #28 Why I Chose You

posted December 3, 2018

Because your eyes crinkle when you tell a story,
And your face opens up into a laugh
The way a flower opens to the sun.
Because you smell like home.
Because your voice is melodic even though you don’t call yourself a singer.
Because when we started talking, a bubble formed around us.
Because you liked the way I said “tête a tête.”
Because you left your scarf behind after you set up my Christmas tree
And I carried it with me to Florida, and when I missed you I put my nose into the scarf
And called you on the cell phone
And you had driven for hours in the snow
To protect a friend’s children from her alcoholic husband.
Because you loved the writer of my favorite book.
Because of the way you wrap packages.
Because you don’t disrespect the rules, even as you sometimes break them,
Like wrapping the packages with too much tape.
Because you have your mother’s voice in your head in good ways as well as the inevitable bad.
Because you always make too much food, and I make too little,
And my stinginess balances out your extravagance.
Because you always give money to the homeless and engage them in conversation.
Because you are engaging as well as engaged.
Because you engaged me.
Because you wear wool sweaters.
Because you feel like home.
Because you love rivers;
Because you love the ocean and race into it
Tumble into it
Come up whooping
Splashing like a golden retriever
And I am afraid of water.
Because you merge and unmerge.
Because portals.
Because you love God and don’t know what God is.
Because you love me and don’t know who I am.
Because you fight with me when I go blank
When I forget who I am
When I forget who you are.
Because you taste like home.
Because you see our kids and play with them
And let yourself be their armchair when they need it.
Because you love them even when you don’t know who they are.
Because you are quick to say you don’t know.
Because when everything peeled away from you,
You were still good to the core.
Because I have had fifteen years
And I am greedy for more.

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