My favorite poem is really unassuming and doesn’t garner much attention, it’s a Haiku, maybe that’s why. It is funny how that works, something that means so much to one, can mean so little, not even be seen, in the eyes of another. I want to describe why this poem means so much, where it came from; I could complete that sentence with the heart, but it was more my childhood that gave me inspiration.
Granted it did start in my current time, me thinking of kissing you, a stranger, not even real in my world. How would it be, happen, end, start, I was hoping for your touch. I was thinking about love and how it happens, when I first learned of it, and how I wanted to experience more. More, I was thinking I wished you were real, and the song it fit perfectly, let’s just kiss like real people do, start from the beginning, of time, now or then, just when we meet it will begin.
My earliest memory of seeing love, physically between two people, happened in the back of my dad’s red Impala. I was young, six or seven, and I remember earlier seeing a women smiling, walking, talking with no shirt, cars parked everywhere around the river gorge. It must have been a festival, her boobs were big and darker than the ones I had seen before, she seemed of native descent, nipples swollen larger than my mothers. We drove all the way up Mt. Hood, and drove down the other side, winding serendipitously toward the hippie-love beauty I saw.
The curves in the road were so large, steep really, that you couldn’t look back, only sideways. The green was multiple in color and saturation, so beautiful lush you could drink it. I felt a longing I didn’t realize I knew existed, to go out and just be, in it, you in me. Brown stalks of willows bark provided the structure for draping curtains of green and blue, like an ocean wave capturing the light as it bends over us, beaded jewels, moving, almost covering the bodies entwined sideways. They were wrapped in a patchwork quilt, typical the 70’s of my youth, like the one mom bought at a faire one year, that still sits in my room, now my daughter’s. It was made by hands and love, from a woman, no doubt.
My eyes knew before my mother gasped, it was love that I was seeing between a man and woman. I think she said “look away children,” and Dad said something like, “Oh, I think it might be okay…” Either way my eyes wanted to hold you in my heart and whole body for as long as I could, sideways, until the curve turned. So beautiful, my passion was stirred, and that image has stayed with me forever as love. I realized in thinking about what I wanted, now and in the future, what i need and desire, that it was my first imaginings of love, of what it all meant, the theory of everything.
It’s also interesting to me that we can discover things we didn’t know while writing. That is, the words show us something that was only known in our subconscious before we started to write it. As I was playing with the syllables, writing, I discovered a one word line in haiku – serendipitous – was how I found love and it was the word – what is that when a word and meaning collide? And as i played further with count and rhythm and sounds I felt in my body, I realized the only three words not in haiku were from, you, children; if only my love. If only my first could be my forever lasting, and when not, you could be my longing last.