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How long I loved you
cannot be measured
by earthly time.

This love is a sliver of destiny
recycled from the fertile waters
that used to nourish the Tree of Life
in the middle of Bahrain
before it came to be a desert,
that fell as raindrops on one of
Marie Antoinette’s nights of revelry,
and afterward came to participate
in the 60-year fermenting of grape juice
in Cognac in the west of France.
(Here is the bottle in front of me
dark and inviting
against the low light of the restaurant
throwing on my face the colors of motley.)

Yours is the name
whispered from undefined depths of pleasure
on whose back I dug the fingernails
of my devirginized innocence

Yours are the words
that the two-dimensional graph
of my inspiration
has been asymptotically approaching
ever since I started writing
the maturity of artistry
that my audiences
—both real and imagined—
assured me I’d cross paths with someday

Yours is the oneness of mind and flesh,
the legally binding marriage of logic and faith,
the unconditional union of wakefulness and dreams
that urban legends attempted to capture
and folklore pretended to remember
while I read them in the library
I inherited from my grandfather

and it finally arrived,
the physical time that
laughs at the awkwardness
of the concept of light-years
and impatiently waits
for Einstein’s unifying theory of relativity
to be finalized
and taught in kindergarten classrooms

it tells me I have to love you
if I am to be
without end
.

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“Free Ride” by photographer Nick Payne Cook

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