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  • Writer's pictureAnna Claire Hodge

Love Poem With Crushed Grapes & Coffee

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

Love, that joker of the universe, so often

arrives unannounced. Its persistence,

I learned, can be a bag of coffee, handed

over a counter by a man with eyes the blue

of a Las Vegas swimming pool —-same place

you watched me gamble & we sipped

bloody marys, our mouths all horseradish

& joy. Aren’t we brave in our own ways,

& both winning, still?

Like those deer in Yosemite, you weren’t

shy. That night, the cliffs rose around us

like a painted movie set & I could almost touch

their slick noses. Some mystics go to the woods

& eat tabs of peyote to see god, but we

were high on cool air & the road.

Years ago, we agreed to keep traveling

toward each other, & that November, vowed

ourselves to this honest work. A courthouse,

a baker, a bouquet — how quickly

what is right comes together, handsome.

Your laughter rises to the roof of our home

like the cheers of a stadium packed full

& I am reminded again of what teams do

— move in a practiced dance to make

things work. You cook the chicken, I’ll feed

the dogs. Another day reaches its end.

Life moves, coiling like the vines

in San Miniato, & we are drunk off the fruits

of our labor, this hard work leading us

to the deep rest of the satisfied. Look

what we’ve built. It’s a colosseum,

or a chapel to be lost in, beauty at every turn.

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