You taught me poetry doesn’t have to be
It doesn’t have to rhyme
every single time.
All poetry needs to be is a punch
into someone’s gut
strong enough to make them gasp.
“Poetry is a seed
and you are the sunflower.”
Strip a poem word by word
down to this bare bone,
and you’ll find that poetry
is just a couple of words deep.
Poetry is about when you read it.
Poetry is about how much you need it.
So I tried.
I wrote you a love poem about how I would
use the sky to wrap your Christmas presents,
make the moon sing you bedtime lullabies,
and watch you do your thing.
The poem was twenty three lines long,
and had a three word chorus
almost like a weird song,
or a very complicated confession.
As we lay on an old mattress,
my head on your chest,
I read my poem over and over
till I stripped it down to three words.
‘I love you’.
I couldn’t strip it down further because
‘I’ am important,
‘love’ is the confession,
and ‘you’ are everything.
I read this poem to you
right before asking you to marry me
and you gasped.
“Poetry is a concept.
It’s a sunset sky cut into a thousand pieces
by tree branches.
It’s the marrow in your bones.
Don’t write poems all the time.
Strip it down.
Your favorite game was strip-poetry.
You could sit for hours with a poem,
cut away its important limbs
and watch the heart still pump blood.
“Sometimes, you don’t even need words for poetry.
Just a kiss is enough for a love poem.
A slap on the cheeks of the guy
who touched you without consent
could be your poem and his trigger warning.”
You taught me poetry
and I love you for that.