symbols of love

man and woman silhouetted kissing in doorway

I’ve studied your habits—the way you
lower your tone to add parentheses
to your run-on sentence; the way you
lean back once you’ve added the period.
But will an ampersand ever unite us?
Could that symbol between our initials
ever amount to more than a cliché?
I wonder how many trees have grown beyond
old punctuation scars—adding ring after ring
to the layers behind declarations of love
long forgotten? Love demands exclamation marks!
Acquaintance progesses with commas,
marking entries in a list of encounters
strung together, perhaps endlessly,
headed in no definite direction.
If anything is possible between us,
aside from the elegance of a curved brace
or the agonizing pause of a semicolon,
I’m going to have to see asterisks
when I look into your eyes.

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