In love,
in letters,
subversive in meaning,
emphasized in casual italics,

from my mind to your fingers,
from soft bone to paper,
the ink lingers like oil
smeared between blood and tissue.

For you, over and over,
from font to font with changing hands
that grow in time,
proposing my heart in offbeat rhyme,

these exclamation marks
are the length of your fingers,
tracing surrounding letters along my spine,
warm tattoos that I feel but don't wear,

these question marks, my doubt -
can you live without me? -
a perfect chocolate curl of hair
from behind your ear.
These full stops, black stars,
that dot the pages of our history
starting here, optimistic,
and ending here.
Still hopeful.

These commas,
the curvatures of your body,
where the meat of your waist
hugs the bones of your hips,
out of place but graceful, beautiful,
the flick of your toes,
the kink in your nose, crooked, sharp,

and this...the final ellipsis,
forever insinuating, debating;
three loose rose petals pressed to the page,
he loves me, he loves me not...

In love,
the cursive notations
I read across your skin like
maps, in whites and browns
and soft pulses and plains.
Your words come to life.
the precious weight
of your feelings in my hands
like trust.

Shaunna Harper's picture

Shaunna Harper lives and works in the UK, and is an avid writer of both prose and poetry. She has had poetry, short stories and a novel, Homelands, published.

Last updated February 11, 2014