Love Letter

Niku Rice

I have starved you of my admiration

For far too long, marred you with blind curses

And forgotten your sweetness, your valleys 

And creeks marked by worry and dull sorrow,

Lost track of the miles traveled, the hands held,

The sunsets swallowed whole or in brush strokes.


But I awoke this morning ready to 

Love you completely, caress each callous

And blemish with songs of adoration 

As for the variation in each stone

Tumbling through rough streams for ages on end, 

Never wishing to be anything else. 


This beautifully deflated body

Has ebbed and flowed with rich golden milk,

Sustained the life of three radiant lights,

Built an empire of desire and hunger,

Bound only by the decorum of norms

And the shame of loving these tired bones.


The space between what was and what will be 

stretched thin and translucent, like a secret 

whispered in the dark. Rings in my trunk mark 

time with echoes reverberating 

between the orbits of “was” and “will be”,

A constantly shifting song of patience.


I love you, with buzzing curiosity

Over your ever changing landscapes.

I love you, round temple of pleasure,

My stupa etched with the history of me.

I love you, dear body, for holding me

Up to the mirror of this sweet moment.

Niku Rice is a birth and postpartum doula and lives in the suburbs of Detroit with her family.