Borrowed Words

Love Poem

(by John Frederick Nims)

My clumsiest dear, whose hands shipwreck vases,
At whose quick touch all glasses chip and ring,
Whose palms are bulls in china, burs in linen,
And have no cunning with any soft thing

Except all ill-at-ease fidgeting people:
The refugee uncertain at the door
You make at home; deftly you steady
The drunk clambering on his undulant floor.

Unpredictable dear, the taxi drivers’ terror,
Shrinking from far headlights pale as a dime
Yet leaping before apopleptic streetcars—
Misfit in any space. And never on time.

A wrench in clocks and the solar system. Only
With words and people and love you move at ease;
In traffic of wit expertly maneuver
And keep us, all devotion, at your knees.

Forgetting your coffee spreading on our flannel,
Your lipstick grinning on our coat,
So gaily in love’s unbreakable heaven
Our souls on glory of spilt bourbon float.

Be with me, darling, early and late. Smash glasses—
I will study wry music for your sake.
For should your hands drop white and empty
All the toys of the world would break.

Read this poem in Literature class yesterday. Quite honestly, I did not understand it at first, but when I finally did, I could not help but appreciate the beauty of it. It reminds me of Jason Mraz’s A Beautiful Mess. “I love being submerged in your contradictions, dear” to put it quite succinctly.

I hope in your life you find someone who will love you despite your clumsiness, your imperfections; someone who will enjoy studying sad music for you. And if you don’t… be that person who will love another that way, my Professor told us as we ended the discussion.

I hope I do.

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