The first time he said those words,
they arose from his throat like the stem of a rose,
stretching towards the daylight in the crack of his lips,
prickles passing along esophagus walls like scalpels,
watered by swallow that was rancid and spoiled,
finding their way to his tongue
where they budded and blossomed,
left his mouth as beautiful as a foreign language
but as blue as a breeched baby and
on the deaf ears of my dead grandmother.
I never heard my grandfather say those words until that day,
kneeling in front of her coffin,
praying to be reincarnated as a tree that would one
day be made into paper on which sonnets are written
by a poet who loves as openly as my grandfather
as my father
until that day...
went home and packed those three words
into envelopes like red petals,
soft and fragrant,
and sent them to all my friends
so they could know exactly how I feel.