What is love but allowing someone to take
a chisel to your heart – over, over, and over? And
what do we gain from it but cracks and crevices
and shattering? With each tap,
bad memories coalesce and seep in. The good ones slink
out, blooming moving pictures behind eyelids
like watercolor. Of all the things
that I remember, clearest are those cream teacups
we saw in the museum, the voices
of Arab women on them, quotes about arranged marriages.
That’s what stays with me, those teacups
and how you carefully photographed each one.
They were so much smaller than our two mugs
each morning: your black tea with milk, my coffee
with cream and a grain of sugar.
When I kissed you, you said I left
on your mouth the taste of pennies
and you grimaced, though it was your good
Italian grounds that swirled and stained
the white mug dark.
Working on it. Totally not where I expected it to go, but you know.