Twenty one is not yet old enough
to understand truly the gravity of that
four letter word you two toss around.
You might think you love her
when she lifts that magnificent curtain of
shimmery hair, her necklace
held together by a paperclip,
or when you hear her tiny, familiar whistle
escape from those two sweet apple slices,
she searches for you among crowded grocery aisles-
you can’t help but run to her.
Will it still be love when she calls
from a movie theater on an unsuspecting
afternoon, and your lips curl up when her
name lights the screen. But the mood changes
once her words cut the string you tied to her
months ago and her far away fingers reach over
the satellite connection to steal
love right out of your throat-
she’ll keep it balled in her pocket,
surrounded by swollen fist.