Love is running the back of a finger along the healthy curve
of an infant’s forearm. It is rubbing the soft fullness of a
cheek-to-cheek. Love is the baby powder and burps.
Love is the way your milk lets down at the
sound of a siren and how the weight
in your arms fills you with
Love is being unable to sleep as you think about
the problem of two car seats,
Love is opening a pink plastic Power Rangers lunch box
and inhaling kindergarten. The scent of
peanut butter sandwich, animal crackers,
shoestring carrots (still there),
Love is dodging hills of dirty clothes
and holding your breath against the smell of dank gym sweats
as you pull feet out of a knot of tangled sheets
and cover a teen still holding a glowing phone.
Love is watching chest-heaving sobs roll through
a fragile frame, and picking up shards of glittery glass
from the used-to-be picture frame.
And making sure every scrap of photo paper
bearing even a piece of him makes it to the trash
while keeping silent the
I told you so.
Christine Nichols is a new poet from Stillwater, Ok. She has work pending or previously published in Red River Review, Vox Poetica, and Strong Verse.