the night swallows hard, living room toys scattered colors and the dishes humming, and bath-tub draining

it’s the only book we can read to him
(cheeks pink, he sits in flesh all new and soft)
and he begs it over, and over, the love on each page
touching the words as if he can feel them

“i love you through and through… i love your top side. i love your bottom side. i love your inside and outside. i love your happy side, your sad side
your silly side, your mad side.

i love your fingers and toes, your ears and nose. i love your hair and eyes, your giggles and cries.

i love you running and walking
silent and talking

i love you through and through… yesterday, today and tomorrow too.”

he doesn’t let the cover close, keep reading it, he sounds and we do
until he seems believe it true
until he seems to live in the word-spoken

it’s an inside-out hug, this all-encompass love, that spins the world upside-down

i beg you, read it, over and over this weekend… the love written on the pages of today.

(thank you to all who participated in imperfect prose… what communion, there)