Explaining love to a nine-year-old

Like bread, soft and irresistibly
delicious. Never enough, yet quick
to rise. Think cozy kitchen, scant
winter light, the twoness in things:

Robin and Batman, mustard on dogs,
summer and bruises, word chain and
cars, lean versus fat years, backstreet
at sunset, tree tips tinseled with sifted

gold, crisp mornings wrapped in cacao,
your hot cheek against my hip, same
left dimples, unison morning giggles.
Before you grow old and skeptical, think

chaffinches rising a ruckus in the purple
leaf plum trees, us holding hands in grass.

Clara Burghelea is a Romanian-born poet with an MFA in Poetry from Adelphi University. Recipient of the Robert Muroff Poetry Award, her poems and translations appeared in Ambit, HeadStuff, Waxwing, The Cortland Review and elsewhere. Her collection The Flavor of The Other was published in 2020 with Dos Madres Press. She is the Translation/International Poetry Editor of The Blue Nib.

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