Anxious Love

We decide to write each other letters
To open on our wedding day,
The things too vulnerable to speak
In front of Godde and everybody,
I wonder,
“What will happen to the letters?”

We say, “til death do us part
is for quitters,”
but we will die one day,
And I imagine your body in flames,
My letter tucked gingerly into your pocket,
My words becoming a part of
The ash of you

Will our promises,
Our wildest dreams,
end up in a jar
On our son’s bookcase?

The last time I feared losing someone
This deeply,
He was but a flicker of hope
On the ultrasound screen,
Bleeding not quite serious enough
To panic –

But I never stopped panicking

I never stopped counting
The space between his breaths,
The blessed inhale
That always came –

I am still waiting to exhale.

Once upon a time,
This fear was justified
It isn’t anymore
But I can’t shake it,
Like a bad cough
Or a pretty dress
That I might wear
Someday
And might as well
Hold on to.

It has been with me
Since I had nothing but a shy smile,
A flicker of hope,
And a mischievous streak –
The devil on my shoulder
Never stopped telling me
Nothing would be ok.

I intend I prove him wrong one day
In front of Godde and everybody

Because ‘til death do us part
Is for quitters
And I will cherish even
The ash of you
Because our love is
The most beautiful hope
I have ever held on to,
And I have never felt more sure

Or less afraid.

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