Love and Death Speaking at Once
Emily Jungmin Yoon
We come together.
To love someone means to imagine their death.
2 a.m. and you lie awake in fear of us. What if?
What if? Call your mother. Say you’re sorry.
Call your father. What? Call your sister. Memory sustains,
memory fades. Take a picture. Keep a journal. Underline,
doggy-ear, leave margin-notes in your book, mark it
with your touch. Do not go into a mountain alone.
Write the letter that embarrasses you: the most adulating,
undulating language, each line a petal in a dahlia.
Fields of swaying dahlias, you make them.
Yes, you can. Give that person a bouquet of dahlias,
grown, then cut for you; that is us, together. If we make in you
such tender-hearted anticipation—is it so bad, us together?