Compliment by Rives

Compliment by Rives
August 24, 2011 Ruchir

I remember the first time
you named me “Good morning.”

And how, the night before,
you considered my ceiling,
where the passing cars outside
the passing cars outside
the passing cars outside
cast their shadows and liquid lights
through the slats of my blinds.

You said: “Hey Romeo–
your CD player is skipping again…
but your ceiling’s like fireworks for poor folks!”
And I liked that.

I like the tall pauses you take
when you tell your nephews knock-knock jokes.
And I like your theory
that men and women’s shirts button on opposite sides
so that couples can get dressed facing each other
after making love.

You seem to season your seasons,
your days, your time
with rhyme, not reason,
I’ve seen you. Daily. Nightly.
I’ve watched you housebreak a puppy
just by asking politely.

And your remedy for insomnia?
Is to pile every pillow and blanket into the tub
and you nap there like you’re taking
a patchwork bath,
and I said once: “Oh–I wish I had a PICTURE!”
and you said: “Oh–I wish you and I had HOT SEX,
YOU gave ME a PEDICURE,
and then ELVES showed up at our doorstep,
with a PIZZA, to tell us JESUS just built a TREEHOUSE
in the backyard, and he’d like to meet us both,
so HOP IN HOTSHOT!”

You’re weird,
with a capital “WE.”
And I’m grateful, I marvel,
you’ve helped me hammer
some of my worst manners into manhood,
but I still admit–I like the way your shorts fit,
and how, overall, you’d call me “smart,”
even though sometimes
I do really stupid shit.

And I like how you giggle with your lips closed
like you’ve got a secret little moon in your mouth.

But I’m not insisting you’re some kind of goddess,
(I know you’re suspicious of unspecific love poems).
You’re more like a sunflower,
growing in the courtyard of an old folks home–
you mean things to people on a daily basis,
and this petty poem won’t explain
just how “my favorite” your face is,
(but I wish I’d been your bathroom mirror
the day they took off your braces).

You’re so pretty.

You’re like a vivid video game
and I’m the idiot kid
just trying to get to your next level–
I like your right-shoulder angel,
Hell, I like your left-shoulder devil.
I admire the lively deeds you do.
So if you come through a doorway again,
in a thrift store poncho,
or a drop-dead evening gown,
twirling and asking:
“Well, whaddya think?”
I’m gonna tell you:

“Shit howdy, Sunshine,
sit your fine self down!
If you’re looking for a compliment–

I think you’ve come
to the right place.”

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