Steady / Katie Cavanaugh

If I played archaeologist

in old boxes

I would find the spiral bound

resting place of

fifteen year old musings.

The third page had

a list of ideals in blue ink.

There were all the things I hoped

steady love would be like,

whenever the ground beneath me

would stop daring the Richter

scale.

I did not know that love would walk

in with a laugh that shook bones like

tracks under a subway.

Couldn’t have expected love in

an American-Armenian

skull pummelers band shirt,

the disjointed lip

of Marlboro Reds smiling from a

pocket.

Wouldn’t have guessed love to speak

like it shared a private joke with

the world,

one with a George Carlin punch line.

That love would carry itself

like a unyielding shoulder

in a crowd.

My list only bit at the soft lower lip

of what love ended up being.

It didn’t have mornings of

mumbling happiness

or nights of

pillow fort conversations.

Didn’t have

gentle hands of patience

or the rewarding callouses

of building something important.

In a fluorescent cavity of padded chairs

and photocopies,

love smiled.

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