Hotbox Love Test - a poem about true love. That long distance kind of love that may or may not include farting
I suppose you’re wondering what we’re doing here,
under this comforter.
Well, darling, the truth is: I’m about to fart.
Now, before you get angry, or flail madly, or hold your breath,
just hear me out.
I’m not going to pretend that this is going to be a walk in the rose garden,
I’m no Sarah Palin, this is going to stink.
It might smell like stale popcorn salted in asparagus,
or a cabbage brownie,
or something Velcro and foul that clings to a pant leg like trash juice.
I’m not really a good judge of where these things are going to go.
They call this the love test.
This is how you know you have something special.
It’s not about how we kiss and fall into each other’s lips,
how electricity conducts from our fingertips to each other’s body,
what ancient languages we blurt out when we climax together, simultaneously.
A relationship’s best moments are fleeting flashes of perfect,
the untenable hold of joy.
This is about those less than ideal moments,
the inadvertent times when we are simply human.
A loosened booger, trapdoor opening and closing with every breath,
finding underwear in the trash and we don’t say a word,
conversations on a toilet.
If you can’t love me in this awkward space,
just live in this filthy, stinky moment,
what will you do when it really gets bad?
Can you love me throwing up every hour,
my bedside table a heap of prescription bottles,
my pillow thatched with what little hair I have left to give?
Can you love me as you shower me in a chair,
wipe my ass as I sob “I’m sorry” at you,
throw away my underwear and not say a word.
Can you love me in the moments I stumble to recognize you,
call our son by my brother’s name,
or scream when I look in the mirror?
My stroke addled face may hang like a sheet on a branch, wrinkled and absent of cohesion,
just know that there are rings inside of me that are black and burned with you
that I would carve away the bark of me to get at.
We won’t always be able to slow dance
when our wedding song sneaks onto the radio.
I may not agree with you about how the thermostat should be set.
There may come a time when we are planning my funeral,
and I insist on being buried in the shirt that says,
“Insert wooden stake here” over the heart,
and I hope that you will shake your head and do it anyway.
Like I said,
I’m not a good judge of where these things are going to go.
I hope that you will always love me, as I do you, in those difficult times.
Like this one,
where we are both under a comforter.
And I am about to…
Is that you?!
Is it weird for me to say how much I love you, in this moment, for that?