'till death do us part


in second grade

my librarian wrapped

vines of fingers

to grow over my shoulder

and lead me to

a section designated

for fifth grade and up



glittering titles

and stitched ribbons

hidden in novels

unfolded before me

the way the earth

unravels against bedrock

opening my eyes

to opportunity



with an armful of books

i could go to the front


and a woman

much older than


peered over bifocals

and released me

with words



in fifth grade

i was wide awake

with a new school

and a new bowl of teachers

to stuff my ears with


turkey filling and candy thermometers



the newest librarian

allowed me to bring in

a handwritten note

from my mother's tangled

mess of thoughts

subjecting the high

school section of the library

to being ripped apart

by my curious eyes



words wrote their own meaning

throughout bouts of learning

fuel for leg kicking

voice breaking

page folding

connection finding

tongue kissing


needles look strikingly

like pens

and spools of thread

closely resemble ink


paper stitched together

with groups of words


in tenth grade i admitted

to words that i was

in love

with all of her

bits and pieces


words let it be known

she was not calling me back

and a second date

was never going

to happen


(words play

hard to get)


learning to love me

words began

improving the poor

circulation of herself

freezing my fingertips


(out of pity

i suppose)


by 11th grade

i learned words

and i had been on

over 100 dates


going steady


as i formed her and her

beautiful being

i realized

she was doing the same

to me

running her fingernails

of letters

over my skin

and evolving me


words rolled themselves

across notebooks and

blotched arms

over rivers

and paintings


in sickness

and health


words slipped a ring

on my finger


words taught me

how to live

how to love

how to fight

how to cry

how to forgive

how to create

how to bleed


and as poetry

and stories

unfold in front of me

the same way they did

in second grade


i know

we will be together

'till death do us part




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