The kind that makes your face ache,
the falling-down, tears and hiccup kind, often
from the golden stones of retold stories
when old friends gather. Remember
when he said, she said?
Right before the teacher threw the eraser?
Oh my god I love that one, tell it again,
don’t tell it again.
A giggle won’t do, a pitted quiver. I want my sides to hurt.
I want to be breathless. I’m tired of dark smudges
that come unbidden, a noisy tirade
in the middle of the night, the daily news.
I want to re-live that river trip in the Grand Canyon,
all of us bunking in the open air to catch cool
breezes, when someone yells, What would you rather
have crawl in your mouth, a lizard or a mouse?
That kind of laughter. Long minutes of it
before our bodies have calmed enough
to cozy our faces into pillows for safety and sleep,
sleep as delicious and deep as the canyon.