Home > Poetry > Love Letter
Published: Wed Oct 15 1980
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.
Love Letter

You, who I want
at the top of the stairs,
is it sleep you offer
from the tips of your fingers?
Is it night
between your fingers, white avenues,
city of mind?

we are both sleepy,
the light that fills our house
is lust.
Outside, the hummingbirds peck at the screens,
it is so sweet
this human time,
sweeter than anything.
For its days

are stairs,
and there are stairs, quick ones,
from name to thing,
from flesh to air.
And the needle leaps in the fingers,
When I look up at you
waiting for me,

what a narrow road it is
this fall between us,
this word road,
bone road.
And though I make my way,
because I want you
because you’re there,

on either side
meadows beckon, loose and sibilant.
The wind snakes in them, the wind beds in them,
tying their lengths
in radiant knots, in thistles
to tempt, again and again: pick
that the doors of the roots

may open—;
chicory, cornflowers, I can smell them,
but I love it where it’s narrow, this body,
this stairwell
where the blue fields
are only wings

to test your waiting.

See what's inside AGNI 13

Jorie Graham won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1996 for her collection _The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems from 1974–_1994. She is currently the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard University. (updated 6/2010)

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