Love doesn’t sound like the slow swell of a string orchestra.
The wail of an oboe as you search for your worth in the pigment of another’s irises.
The ascension of piano keys,
the half note rest when your fingers interlock, your thumb resting outward,
signaling your ever persistent need to launch into the unknown
amidst your desperation to be tethered to home.
Love’s soundtrack is the moment of silence shared when the song ends.
When you can’t exhale because it will move the moment forward.
You can’t bear to know what comes next because it won’t be as perfect as this.
It’s the echo of a low laugh falling off the smirk of a man who spends as much time shaking his head at you as he does occupying your thoughts.
It’s the metallic click and creaking hinge of opening the door you slammed.
It’s the staccato of your daughter’s giggle.
It’s the pianissimo rustling of fabric as she buries her face in the valley of your clavicle.
It’s the prayer you whisper, pleading with the divine to let her grow up.
To not cut her life short, but to slow the time between now and then.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
It’s the exhale of relief as you watch the rise and fall of her chest before the dawn rises.
It’s the vibrato in the scream caught in your throat.
It’s the coda, telling you to start over every time you think you’re done.
Gena Killion is a poet currently living in Illinois (by way of Florida, by way of Chicago). She is a decent mother and at best a mediocre daughter. She has read poetry on more stages than she can count and approximately four unelevated surfaces.