I Love Your Laugh

You laugh as the table is cleared away and

we sit talking with the others.

You laugh, a little at first as you set down your glass,

then your head back to great unselfconscious

laughter, mouth open, smiling, eyes closed,

and your head goes back again to laugh.

I see all at once you and

the little girl you were in yellow curls

the woman tonight with hair of fire

the lady you will become

long hair flowing gray and up in a loose bun.

All of you laugh together and it is like

the surf that pulses the shore across the balcony and

rolls into crashing white spray

and rises up in the clear night

and falls again as drops of rain

at the top of a tall mountain

and trickles back down to the forest

where a boy who already unknowingly loves you

stands at the edge of the laughter

and enters and climbs all the way to the man

tonight who measures his breath

on your fingers around his hand

that you squeeze gently as you talk

and keeps climbing into the old man who will stoop down

as you laugh in the room of a lived-in house

and kiss the back of your neck beneath the gray bun,

and has already loved you his whole life.


I don’t talk much during the dinner

but smile and nod and someone asks

if I am sleepy though I am not and

you say you have to get me home

and outside you say, What?

and you smile and pull my hand and say

Why are you looking at me like that?

and I can only think to say,

I love your laugh.

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