You Could Say Love

A poem by Grant Young, December 2019

Grant Young is a poet and a senior at the University of Washington. He is earning a degree in biochemistry and a minor in English composition.

You could say Love is
a symphony. Love is
a meadow of flowers. Love is
a flowing river.

You could say, “Love is my rock”
or, “Love is my sun.”

But Love, the truth is
I get scared to write about you.
I know I could never get it right.

Like, maybe I need to go back to
school, read more Shakespeare
& Bradbury, & memorize a
thesaurus or 4 before I even attempt
to put a pen to the way you
paint & fire my heart.

But I already grabbed the pen.
I can’t not write;
I might spill over.

Or scream out, see,
Love is the lost treasure & I found her.
Love is the dream that would
never become real until
she grabbed my hand.

To know Love’s warmth,
one must also know how she
What people don’t say about Love
is she’s a slap in the face. A bucket of
cold water at too-early-a.m..

Love eats you up
& spits you out w/
stomach bile & for some reason that bile is so
delicious & you want Love to
eat you again & never ever
spit you back out. Only Love doesn’t
consume you
so much as exalt you.

Love is an unplanned hike—
you got lost.
You got lost & there is nowhere
else you’d rather be bc
you feel alive:
your blood is pumping
your chest is firing
your hands needed to know,
they craved for years to know
what it means to be gentle.

Love takes me back for the first time
to a sensation I felt at a 2nd grade
choir concert:
Cheeks sore from smiling.
Only in 2nd grade, the smile was forced.

Love is a tense, frazzled, cold-
shouldered conversation that you get
in bed alongside,
breathing heavily,
breathe, breathe,
get some water,
think to yourself,
“I’m so stupid. This is so much more than this.”
Get back in bed, lean over & kiss
Love on the cheek.
“I Love You.”