Three Poems on Being in Love

Three Poems on Being in Love

by Michael Bruebach, Poetry Staff

I

If you are early to rise, you
may witness the peak of small crested smile with daybreak;
pillows frame her outline like clouds to the light

You may be lucky enough to see reruns of sweet dreams
Through groggy eyes rich with sleep
And something maybe more peaceful. 

If you are early to wake, you
may feel August heat from the leg draped
over your torso with unintended grace 

She may heal ruins at the base of your neck 
With a touch that whispers good morning
and feels like a serenade. 

The pot of coffee you share tastes sweeter on borrowed time- 
you may find calm among old creamer and brown sugar packets on Wednesday mornings,
find grace in her calculated laziness, 
she is apt to make alarm clocks feel like launch codes, 
10:10s require the will of Olympic swimmers.

If you are early to leave, 
she may extend her hand to reach yours
and say goodbye with a smile and gentle eyes,
she squeezes Neruda and Whitman into the crevices of your palm
and wears a grin because she knows she
contains your universe within the curve of her lip. 

II

The moonlight lays soft streams across pale thighs
canvassing the great divide between hip and  ___,
skin stretched heavy with black ink, jealous
of the way it hugs tight to the tips of her shoulder,

If I should follow the flow of her pulse
tracing maps with careful touch along the route, 
through rivers that dance across her skin,
it runs smooth through the cracks between my fingers,
and floods the palms of my hands like an offering, 

To dip my fingertips into Eden’s warm waters
is to know that no sin cannot come free at the maker’s alter,
should my lips become cracked and dry, 
she bares holy water from her lip,

Her touch feels like the first sunlight after winter
hands linger at the small of my back and
the light in her palms flows across my skin in waves
pulsing warmth along the arc of my spine,
it speaks in foreign tongues of refuge and rapture.

III

I say we take your 2004 Kia across frozen highways at midnight
and count headlights like shooting stars,
make wishes on drowsy truckers and godless businessmen in self-driving coupes.
We can stop for cheap alcohol and matchbooks at those corner stores across from cheap motels, 
light matches and burn our dollar bills like birthday candles-
spend whatever’s left on noserings and cheap tattoos. 

You and I can skip telephones like stones on private beaches
and watch someone else’s waves roll onto trespassed shores;
we can sit in the sand and share thoughts like a warm blanket,
catch a glimpse of what we left behind through a rose colored night sky-
I’ll laugh at the curse words that flow from your lips like a rusted faucet.

We can press pause on college diplomas like a Netflix show
and watch the subtitles from gas station payphones,
Sit atop the Sportage with two flat tires 
and take turns waving thumbs at 18 wheeled cowboys.
I bet we could make it to Zion
or just that mountain you found in Colorado,
where the sun melts puddles on top of your snow boots-
the treetops can be our Nashville skyscrapers.

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