Your Valentine

Despertar 3
By Kevin Clothier

I’m telling you I love you with mud pies, Hawaiian Punch
and cinder blocks, because I’ve found my way under
your nails, and into your hair, I’ve lit up your tongue
like a red Christmas bulb, and planted my big,
inert body in the middle of your life’s path.
Think of me as the tossed salad you ordered at a diner,
as bitter to the taste as it is sweet, with intentions
that are at best two parts vinegar, one part oil .
Tell me that at times I pop into your memory like bubble wrap.
Call me your toad, the one who grunts wistfully outside
your window then pees in your hand when you try to take hold.
Better yet, think of me as a listless old snake you adore who,
once heated up, slips down the tunnels of your veins devouring
hidden expectations on the way to your heart where I strike
with toxic passion, causing your blood to boil as I steal
your breath away.
Think of me as your tombstone, besmirched with lichen,
crumbling at the corners, absent of both ornament and color.
A simple stone gently echoing what you meant last night
when you said, “my love someday you’ll be the death of me.”

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