Glow by Ada Limon | Poem No. 11 (NPM2017)

Ways I Love You

by Ada Limon

In the black illegible moment of foolish want,
there is also a neon sign flashing,
the sign above the strip joint where my
second big love worked as a bouncer
and saved the girls from unwanted hands,
un-paid for hands. Thin-lipped ladies
with a lot on their minds and more on
their backs, loaded for bear, and for
the long winter’s rain, loaded for real,
and I’ve always been a jealous girl,
but when he’d come home with a 4 am
stomp in his boots and undress to bed,
he was fully there, fully in the room,
my sleeping body made awake,
and there was gentleness to this,
a long opening that seemed to join us
in he saddest hour. Before now, I don’t
know if I have ever loved anyone or if
I have ever been loved, but men have
been very good to me, have seen
my absurd out-of-my-place-ness, my bent
grin and un-called for loud laugh and
have wanted to love me for it,
have been so warm in their wanting
that sometimes I wanted to love them, tpo.
And I think that must be worth somethin,
that it should be a celebrated thing,
that though I have not stood on a mountain
under the usual false archway of tradition
and chosen one person forever,
what I have done is risked everything for
that hour
that hour in the black night
where one flashing light
looks like love, I have
pulled over my body’s car and let
myself believe that the dance was
only for me, that this gift of a breathing
one-who-wants was always a gift
was the only sign worth stopping for,
that the neon glow was a real star,
gleaming in its dying, like us all,
like us all.


You can get your copy of the book Bright Dead Things by Ada Limon where this poem can be found – Amazon and Book Depository


Ways I Love You


3 thoughts on “Glow by Ada Limon | Poem No. 11 (NPM2017)

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