Adjectives and nouns

Written by: DAVID ELLSWORTH

I loved it when you were learning

And practiced with adjectives at every opportunity

You would frame my face within your hands

And kiss me fiercely before announcing

“Happy kiss”

A kiss that had no special reason, coming as a sample

Proving the glow upon your face was real and marvelous

That you were at home, safe within my heart.

 

I loved your questions that confused me

“Shake hands and say How do you do . . . .

How do you do what?”

And you would wait for an answer with that cute frown

And there was no answer other than “That’s what we say”

“You’re crazy!” she’d respond. “Thank you, you’re welcome!

Welcome?  Welcome to where, to what?  

That’s what you say, right?  English is for crazy people!”

 

You loved autumn above all seasons

Pointing and practicing, “Leaf . . . . bush . . . . torrente . . . .

“Stream,” I’d tell you and you would nod pertly 

And repeat, “stream . . . . stream . That’s a pretty word.”

“Sure, and gonorrhea sounds like a South Sea island

English is crazy, remember?”

But you would ignore me and walk on muttering

“Stream . . . . torrente . . . . stream . . . . stream.”

 

That night we sat on the sofa

You with your legs tucked beneath you

And you took my hand with eyes teary bright

“Sometimes,” you said, “I want to lock the door

Never open for anybody.  Food is not important

I just want to stay here, inside this place

Here, beside you, inside your arms

Because I am frightened of everything out there.”

 

Existence was defined by emptiness

Your side of the bed, the chair before me at the table  

The seat belt dangling and your place on the sofa  

Your side of the dresser, your towels on the rack  

Your shampoo and your place to lay out clothes for tomorrow  

Everything was abbreviated and nothing complete  

Because reality knocked at the door

And everything you feared invited us to this moment