Emma Marie Duke

Monday Morning, Early

I love you like I love a silent K — the way
it sits at the edge
of a word and changes not its sound
but its ness. Its knees, that buckle and fold
and straighten and stretch,
toes curling around your calves.

(I love you.)

I love you the way sweaters love moths — who
flutter, soft, into their threaded souls and bless
what their fingers take away.

I love you the way the highway loves
the coming of a summer rain. I love you

more than inkblots and apostrophes.
I love you the way my stomach says
to love you. It is hot and insistent
and begs you please —

please don’t fall asleep. I love you

the way flowers love dew,
the way dew loves sunshine,
and the way sunshine loves
nothing but itself.

I, Love, am not you.
I, love, am knots of you. Of not. Of knuckles
shut and opening and caught.

I love you like a tumor loves its flesh.

Not unto death, dear —
but unto a cavity of wholeness.