I carry love on my back,
riding high on spine and scapula.
Oh no, it’s not what you think.
Love is never a burden. I am not
usually bent from love’s weight.
Very practically, I want love handy.
There are days when I sling it
from my shoulder to give it a look,
to wonder over its dimensions,
love’s beauty, love’s intricate design
(and, obsessively, as a reassurance).

I would never abandon love
at the side of the road, on the
church steps, in the grocery
store, in produce or frozen foods.

However, a man, I can never
carry love as so many do,
cradled in my womb,
love an intuitive knowing,
love as natural, as constant as breath.
No, love abides outside myself.
If I carried love somewhere between
stomach and liver, I’m certain
I’d forget love’s existence.
I’d construct presumptions.
If I hid love there, my fear
of its loss would destroy me.