TOM C. HUNLEY
Love Me Gentlefirm the Way Firemen Love a Treed Cat
Love me when I’m tired of life, when I feel like
anyone who loves me must be wrong,
when I tell you that you’re mistaken, that I’m a mistake.
Love me when I feel like I’m simultaneously a door with no handle
and the frightened thing that can’t find its way out.
Love me with your hands like I’m all the money
you can grab, with your mouth like it’s happy hour
—drinks half off—with your whole body which feels
like a river when I feel like a fish, several hooks in me
like prized scars. Love me by kissing my scars.
Love me on your hands and knees like a tatterdemalion
on a desert island scooping up a bottle with a message in it.
Let your love for me be uncharted, unchartable, off the charts.
Love me blind as justice. Love me blinder than a gigantic roosting bat,
satisfied with a thousand mosquitos in its stomach.
Love me in golden afternoon light, in the darkness
behind your eyelids behind your sleep mask.
Love me in every room in our house, in every stanza
of every poem you write. Love me like I’m a bookmark
holding your favorite page in your favorite book.
Love me when I spill beer on the book I borrowed
from you and sheepishly return it. Love me until your love
for me makes the ceiling spin, makes you sweat cold,
makes you need to lie down, makes your head pound, until
you swear you’ll never love me this much ever again but then you do.
Tom C. Hunley has published poems in Edge City Review, Englewood Review of Books, Evansville Review, Everyday Poems, Exquisite Corpse, and journals beginning with every other letter of the alphabet.