In my youth, loved carelessly, thoughtlessly,
loved because I was raised to love
and because the soul knows.
Not like America, but America.
After first breathing, imbibed, incorporated,
nourishment for what was hungry
for what illed and what ailed.
Not like mother’s milk, but Milk.
In college denied, betrayed, studied, contexted,
complexity clouding what seemed simple
like a kiss or majors or God.
Not like heartbreak, but Heartbreak.
Crack of a bat broken, twinge in a torn shoulder,
turn of a heel, thump of the final out in a glove.
Each spring dug out, reaching again for the shine
despite knowing, cause the sun is still the sun
and we know better. Now, better.
Not like love, but Love.