You are too delicate and so you have to be kept in a vase and watered.

You cry too easily so I have to dance and make jokes and tease and pet you.

There is the smell of pine and forest crushed in your hair

so I have to tame you with bits of food held out at arm’s length.

I have to sing to you with high, cooing syllables of love or you won’t eat from my palm,

and I’ll be hungry for the soft puff of your breath on my skin.

You could run at any moment back into your soul with the thousand year old redwoods

and the hiding places where bushes cup a dark space.

You could keen in a language I don’t know, swaying with the curtains of memory

that brush your face like scarves, mottle your eyes with pain.


You have left me a gift wrapped in grass.  It’s shaped like tears but it’s not.

But it is some kind of water.

You give me some to taste and then I lick it off your hand and your face and your hard

belly and your arched chest.

And then I drink it from your mouth, you feeding me with your soul,

with some white honey.

I drink and drink, rescued from dry death.

And then I laugh, my mouth close to yours.

Because I haven’t saved you with my little bits of childish love,

held out on a palm made flat for you to eat.

Or with my little aimless song,

the notes crushed and falling like a straggly bouquet of wildflowers.

You have saved me. You have saved me.

It was you saving me all along.