Sarah A. Chavez
I am an inconsistent lover
to all things in which I have given my love. My love is not fickle. Giving it is like prying open the maw of a fox trap. The hinges want so badly to stay closed, but to fit steel tooth into steel tooth is to starve.
Once given, I think my love is gone. I have given it to you, I say. What else is there?
My love in abstract is not enough. My love in a single act is not enough. My love in repeated words is not enough. My love in weekly acts is not enough. My love in five years, ten years, sixteen years of words is not enough. My love in cooked dinners, in deviation to make space, in flying to another city to prop a pillow behind a broken back, beneath a fractured leg—that is not enough. My love feels like a well syphoned.
The world creeps tall, up to my skin. Its frustrations are block hands on my face. The cool opaque tunnels my vision. I turn my head and can see only one of things that I love. All the other loves wait in the wings. They are all tired of waiting. I turn my head one click to the left and there is a hungry love. I turn my head two clicks to the right and there is another hungry love.
I am your oldest love, you owe me.
I am your newest love, nurture me.
I am your truest love, sustain me.
I am the love for which you sacrificed, don’t waste me.
I am the love you grew from soil, don’t let me die.
I wonder if there will be a time that I turn my head and a mirror is set before me. This is
the love I fail most.