Tuesday Poem: Love In A Nutshell, by Renee Liang

This follows my interview with Renee Liang last week.

Love in a nutshell

For Roseanne and Stephen

I wanted to tell you how love grows from a tiny seed
sown at random
like drifting seed pods in summer
you catch and wish upon

how the clash of swords in a gym
sometimes sounds like sudden laughter
and why taking the hit
is better than ducking

I wanted to say
why losing car keys on a black sand beach at midnight
is no problem
if you have each other

and of the warmth of the moon
embraced by punga trees
and the sound of stars when they breathe
in your ear

I wanted to feel again
that moment of the first kiss
the dry softness of lips, the uncertain eyes
the wet palms

and I wanted to remember
lying in bed afterwards
with my finger on the replay button

I wanted to tell you how love tastes like chocolate brownies
how it is made up of two thirds chocolate and one third cream
and how extra sugar is unnecessary
but you put it in anyway

I wanted to ask you
how you found out how to hold hands
when he is so tall and you are so small
but then I realized you grew
to fit each other

I wanted to show you
how to hurl stones as far as you can
on a beach
running after each other

and how to do it again and again until your breath
aches in your chest
and how you can make your belly hurt
from laughing with friends around board games

I wanted to find a scientific reason
why pillows are softer with two heads lying on them
but a search of the medical literature
brings no answer

I wanted to tell you
of the protective embrace of parents
and of how they guide you to the edge
when you are ready to take your first flight

and of how they watch
with fear and love in their eyes
as you step off
and find your wings

I wanted to tell you
of the feel of wind in your hair
and the chime of the wood pigeon
in your own place

and of how four bare feet entwined
can discover another country

I wanted to tell you –

but you already know.

Tim says: “Love in a nutshell” comes from Renee’s third chapbook, Banana. It’s full of good poems, but this one is my favourite. It’s great stuff.

You can read all the Tuesday Poems at the Tuesday Poem blog.

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