Neruda and I, Neruda and You

I.

I searched Neruda’s poems

but all I found was love.

 

Love and its ways,

Lover’s and their ways of:

forgetting and remembering,

nights

of despair,

of wandering

and of lights.

 

In Neruda I found

all of the things that make poetry

the pen stroke of life.

 

But there, in Neruda,

I couldn’t find you,

until I saw,

there you were;

you were larger than life.

 

II.

You are:

eyes like effervescent pools,

grins that scatter like marbles,

arms and legs that shimmy in

the moment the birthday candle is lit;

the moment the shot is taken;

the moment the child tries;

the moment the idea sparks

and you are struck with the belief

that you’ve always had.

 

III.

I used to steal your clothes,

just to rub the magic out,

just to see if the magic worked for me.

 

The gold, the sparkles, the neon,

in the hazy mornings

I’d drape the cloth over my small frame,

smiling like you through school days,

but by night fall

the only glint I’d see,

through the hovering darkness,

came from the mirror and the moon.

 

IV.

You never needed any dancing shoes.

 

I used to think you were the Dancing Queen

that Abba sang about because

I’ve never seen any dance instructor

who could name the style of your dance moves:

your sliding across the wood floor,

like a robot,

like a hair brusher,

like a grocery shopper,

like a wide-eyed ballerina;

 

my favorite of course is

when you throw out your

invisible fishing line

towards me,

and

I hop,

my hands like

fins next to my face–

it is then

that I cross over

into

the whirlwind of you,

and somehow

I stand firmer

than when

in the

chaos of

myself.

 

V.

Neruda would have

written a thousand poems

about you.

 

For Danielle is a

romantic name–

 

you should know,

from all of the times

I’d mimick your loving husband,

calling to you in hallways,

using my terrible

French accent.

 

VI.

You’d probably be Neruda’s

runaway Cinderella,

like in Ever After.

 

He’d write about you

for a hundred years;

because

under your great love

he would collapse

like a flopping puppy;

 

then

—trying to stand–

he would struggle to find words

that fit,

that expressed his gratitude,

for feeling that magnitude of love,

that is yours,

 

as I always do.

 

VII.

You are larger than life;

divine in the way you

love, live, laugh

the way you take a word

and burst it open with

your passionate,

zealous,

dynamic,

ways of living its meaning.

 

VIII.

Today I opened up

Neruda’s poems

and in it he wrote me

and he wrote you:

 

“My struggle is harsh and I come back

with eyes tired

at times from having seen

the unchanging earth,

but when your laughter enters

it rises to the sky seeking me

and it opens for me all

the doors of life.”

 

IX.

Your laughter,

your zest,

your muchness,

your joy,

your love–

You are larger than life.

 

The world cannot contain

all of the things you have to

offer it.

 

A word cannot contain

all of the things you are to

me.

 

X.

Great loves like yours must

remember Neruda and me.

 

Please remember and “Only do not forget,

if I wake up crying

it’s only because in my dream I’m a lost child

hunting through the leaves of the night for your hands….”

 

Great loves like yours are larger than life,

and Neruda and I need your hands of hope,

we need the laughter that seeps from every word you burst open,

we need you, with your full life,  and the meaning you bring to ours.

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