simple greeting on the 14th

On this day I say love whatever sustains you, even if it eats you up, like the addict loves her habit, his killer of pains, her intensifier of dasein. If sustenance is toxic, this doesn't mean you won't learn to love yourself better and more. Let this day call you to look at that and those you love; just look. Tomorrow can begin changing, if changing needs be. You don't have to seize, hold, drink down, succor, proclaim, no matter what the tv says.

Look the way an infant looks, with all its being both concentrated and dispersed, feeling a different axis of gravity (one whose rules we can't chart). There's a love in that both modest and extravagant. But for those of us with words more than anything, we can jangle them around like a sachet of teeth hidden under the pillow, hoping to attract good spirits; we can string them together, making jewels and knives, making occasions for coming and for leaving (love's first cousin, incestuous and innocently sinister.) My friends, you sustain me, and words, but most of all you. So, take these:

"Words" -- by Anne Sexton

Be careful of words,
even the miraculous ones.
For the miraculous we do our best,
sometimes they swarm like insects
and leave not a sting but a kiss.
They can be as good as fingers.
They can be as trusty as the rock
you stick your bottom on.
But they can be both daisies and bruises.

Yet I am in love with words.
They are doves falling out of the ceiling.
They are six holy oranges sitting in my lap.
They are the trees, the legs of summer,
and the sun, its passionate face.

Yet often they fail me.
I have so much I want to say,
so many stories, images, proverbs, etc.
But the words aren't good enough,
the wrong ones kiss me.
Sometimes I fly like an eagle
but with the wings of a wren.

But I try to take care
and be gentle to them.
Words and eggs must be handled with care.
Once broken they are impossible
things to repair.