March 26, 2023


“On inaccessible surfaces within
the wings [of 747 freighters] some
riveters leave declarations of love.”
         Barry Lopez, Harpers

Hidden, love can be told.
“I love.” The simplest truth
frozen at 33,000 feet
or withering in runway heat,
riveted in place or scattered
across a mountain after a crash,
spread still above the scurrying on the tarmac,
or vibrating with the turbine’s roar,
this is a love that stays.

Love’s the one thing, so it’s told,
that tyrants can’t control,
so: what if we adopt the manner
of these riveters, and leave our love
hidden everywhere, there’s a closed
and secret place? Inside the linings of suits,
tailors could embroider their passionate
desires; the kitchen faucet
could pour out love along with water,
rubbed off where the plumber had scratched it
on the inside of an elbow joint; we could
walk on love, where the shoemaker had sewn it
inside the sole; the mattress-makers
could slip love notes into their work,
and we’d sleep on love. Declarations
of love on every unseen surface
until we’d simply love, without
knowing why.