One's cheek, so plump, like globular warm Midwest rain drops falling, plop, delicious
The other's taut and unforgiving, it wedges itself against my lips, my teeth get conked, demanding. Mama, mama, love!
And there are all these kinds of love, folding over and on top of one another, like folded used book art. Magnus love, Gavin love, love of being the mama, husband love, loving husband as father-different-from-husband-love, passion love, all these kinds of love and they fall on me in the night, like stars from the sky, peeeshooo, a meteor shower and I can't sleep. I have to teach in the morning.
There's the new love of my students. Each semester I fall in love, like just meeting my grandmother but for the first time as an adult "abuelita" I call her even though I never did. Didn't even call her "mormor" pa svenska it's mother's mother. The love is like meeting my auntie, a new cousin. Brimming with ideas, they leave. But arriving, they're like mice, sneaking, sneaking bites of cookies, or peeks at text messages, nervous. Don't look at me, don't pick me.
But I do pick you. I pry you out of yourself, push you into the middle of the room and try to make you laugh at yourself. I laugh at myself. Let's play the game together. We're in it together, this difficult business of writing. It can be fun. I promise. or class can, anyway.
Writing is what I know. It is the solid ground. I want to snap it and show it to you: words, arrange them, frame them, make them simple but give them a taste and a texture, like ice cream edged with freezer burn. You get through the bite to the taste if you stick with it. I promise.