Love me through this.
Help me into my ill-fitting skins —
If you have to labor 12 hours, 36 hours, forever, love me.
As my belly rounds and juts, love me for it.
Hold in your hand my swollen fingers,
pretend they are not fat as root vegetables.
Kiss my forehead once, again, again.
Love me through this
when I snatch my arm from your touch
when I stomp my feet
like a child, bury my face
in my hands like a widow.
When the third jar this week
slips and shatters on the kitchen floor,
while you’re wringing out the mop, love me.
Love me like it’s just the two of us,
like the answers will be revealed,
oracle tea cups spelling out messages in soggy leaves.
Love me, bent on escape, running
to the garden, beating at the dirt.
Block the emergency exits and love me.
Love me like we planned this,
carefully, making dignified strokes of the pen.
Love me as if the burden sits on your chest
like a breeze, mixing with your breath,
momentarily raising a few strands of hair.
Press your optimism to me like a blanket.
Whisper to me like I’m a one-night stand,
a dying soldier, cut out lies for me
that hang around the doorframe,
fragile paper dolls. Grab me
by the shoulders and look at me,
as if you understand.