I Know Something Other Than Shoes

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I Know Something Other Than Shoes

you ask me, without saying, who i think i am.

you say, “girl, what you know?”

I know …

love is not a thing you grow into

not an itchy sweater

you’re “almost ready for”

according to grandma

it’s not 3 sizes too big but just right

with a couple inches pulled in on the side

it’s not a decision to be made:

“full length? or middrift?

what do you think?”


love enters exactly as it will be.

when it is right it is real and when it is real

it is right


waking at 3am to apply mascara after the the familiar reply

“who me? no, no,

i’m not sleep”


love is a sign.

a symptom.

a pointing towards

or away from


it is a direct action

love is standing beside you

it’s intertwining fingers

turning down the covers

brushing then braiding your hair

only to lean in and whisper

like a sweet and calm wind,

“i miss you every minute. i love you



some will disagree.

with time,

they’ll say,

people grow on one another.

you mean like mold?


i do contend

this is not a fungus

so that is not love.


love is more like you


you are like a sweet dream i refuse to wake from

you’re like a sale at home goods and dollar general on the same day

but more like a

tattooed memory of instantaneous attraction

you’re addiction

you’re me

standing at the alter in mother of pearl

and pale pink accessories having purchased

my own ring before

we’d ever spoken

you’re a kiss above all other

you’re like jesus

placed us here on earth

close enough to feel

but distant enough to wonder

“what can we be if we’re at our best?”

you’re a test i’ve studied far too long to fail

you are what it means to trust


because you are


and it is long and it is


and it is strong across seas

and seconds

and it is not the same

with others.

it’s not


it’s a truth.

a time.

a paracosm

playing before me

as real as you

are young and fine

and belonging to me.

love is a claiming. a sure thing.

it is not to be thrown out with with the seasons or spring cleaned.

it is here. has been here. will be here.

always. waiting. always.

you. always in me. always is me.

see and

know thyself, friend.

for i’ve grown far too fond of subtleties

to wear anyone’s heart on my sleeve.

Comments [9]

Sissy Van Dyke's picture

Great Poem

My favorite lines: 
people grow on one another.
you mean like mold?


Grace Moon's picture



tweet tweet @gracemoon

Tosha's picture

i love this

'a tattoed memory of instantaneous attraction'...yes. it's never something i have had to figure out,or if i have, it hasn't been 'right'. .  it's just as you say.  gorgeous.

kholi's picture

Thanks Tosha ...

I remember that line sort of writing itself ...

I was like "yessss!  that's exactly what it is! and i'll never forget how that moment felt."

I'm glad that did something for you.  I appreciate it.

Marcie Bianco's picture

Marry the Night

why do you think this poem makes me think of the lyrics for "Marry the Night":

"I'm gonna marry the night / I won't give up on my life. / I'm a warrior queen / live passionately tonight"


"Love is the new / denim or black / Skeleton guns / or wedding bells in the attic"

kholi's picture

because my friend ...

you are a student of intertextuality.

WriterInResidence's picture



This is so nice. Time slowed for me as I read it. Thank you.


kholi's picture

gosh ...

i really appreciate that.  thank you.

Marcie Bianco's picture

sigh. Khols, this makes me


Khols, this makes me very happy .... (and it serves nicely as juxtaposed to Sissy's piece!)