Sam's Birthday Poem 2001

When I lie beside him I am beautiful, pale, slender. He runs his fingertips over the valley between my ribs and my hips. My ears share the intimacy of his lips, a quiet kiss for me alone to hear. I covet his whispers.

Later in the day he is upstairs rummaging around as I run in circles on the floor beneath. Pond swimming and an old empty country house and the very idea of July have made us bouncy. He yells Hey! and I yell What?! and he yells I Love You! and it sounds he has discovered something tremendous. I laugh gleefully and keep running in circles.

When we listen to music he taps the rhythms out on my body. Sometimes he sings his own songs and taps. Sometimes the music plays only in his head, but he shares the rhythm with my shoulders, my knees, the top of my head.

When he is very happy he smiles and his shoulders shrug up to his ears. He cannot walk and laugh at the same time. He cannot think of extraordinary things and walk at the same time either. When he begins to laugh or thinks of something extraordinary it sometimes takes me a few steps to realize he has stopped. I look back to see him standing on the sidewalk, laughing or thinking of something extraordinary.

He gestures like crazy, even when he is on the telephone. I tell him They can’t see you. and he looks sheepish until he starts gesturing again because he has forgotten. That’s when I just sit back and watch.

We fit together.

I think I must be irresistible when I am brushing my teeth. He nestles in behind me. I look at us in the mirror. He is 5’9’’ and dark and handsome. I am 5’3’’ and freckled and green eyed.

When he wears his sunglasses he looks with-it together cool. When I wear his sunglasses I look like a bug.

I told him once that I was falling in circles and he pretended to not understand. The morning he moved slowly toward me, thinking of a first kiss, I pretended I was asleep.


I waited heart racing eyes closed feeling him come closer silently telling him it was all right heart racing eyes closed.

Ours was a delicate game. We wrote each other secret poems and slowly noticed the shift to meaningful glances soft innuendo lingering touches. In my journal: “It is Spring. Lambs and chicks and crocuses. I want you in pastels, dammit.”

He wrote on a scrap of paper: “I just put the whole day in terms of you. You o’clock. Twenty minutes to You.”

The End