My valentine didn’t bring me flowers. He didn’t send me chocolates or cause me to drip in jewels.
He bundled me into a house made warm for me, two wood stoves blazing into the night against my fevered shivers. He tucked me into a chair before one, before the hot one, handed me warm tea and dinner, told me to shush and feel better.
He left me to snuggle in the morning while he stoked the fire and made the coffee. He poured my bath too hot to warm the iron of the tub, and left me to simmer until drowsy, I slept for hours through midday. Smiling, I awoke to the happy noises of his puttering beneath me, the dreams of a spring to be spent on the road manifested through the clatter of steel.
My head still hurt and he, my love, poured yet another bath for me, just hot enough, and left me to it, the kitten and I. And when I crawled out, we sat and were silent under music, content with nearness.
In a morning that dawned bright we started talking and the morning turned to noon which turned to late, we marveled at the time which slipped unnoticed from our fingers, and how we never mind.
How can we mind when love infuses all that we do, even the silver silences that move between us?
The only gift I received today is that which I have always wished and wanted for.
I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving
but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.
Love Sonnet XVII