Friday, June 10, 2011

This is love (for David) - Karlo Mila

This is love (for David)
- Karlo Mila

you’ve taken / the roots of / my thoughts on / what love is /
this understanding I’ve created over the years /
so ripe / so red / in your big hands / brown / custodial

you put them in a pot / large bucket / on your front
doorstep / a place in the Papatoetoe sun / this is love you
say / watering / tending / a careful eye at the end of the day

it is seeds sown in the hopeful spring / hiccups of hope /
scattered sheets / seed spread bed / it is shedding dead leaves
in autumn / and you prune / me / cutting fingertips
tenderly / bleeding softly into soil / blistering gently / the
test is you say / whether we will survive winter / there
will be many winters / soaked with rain / frost on car
window mornings

this is love you say / endurance through / every / every day /

this is what I have learned.

love is not a bunch of red roses / blossomed into the peak
of their beauty / cut at the height of their passion / long
stemmed /bikini lined / full lipped / red perfect

love is / the watering / the watching / the pruning / the
tending / the providing of new buckets / the finding of
new doorsteps /

love is not something one simply wears
behind their ears
in full bloom

Karlo Mila is of Tongan, Palangi and Samoan descent. She was born in Rotorua, grew up in Palmerston North and now lives and works in Auckland. She has had poetry published in Whetu Moana, Best New Zealand Poems 2003, Short Fuse: The Global Anthology of Fusion Poetry, the Listener and Coffee and Coconuts. Karlo performs live poetry regularly.

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