Nikki Giovanni


I love you 
            because the Earth turns round the sun  
            because the North wind blows north 
            because the Pope is Catholic 
                and most Rabbis Jewish  
            because winters flow into springs  
            and the air clears after a storm 
            because only my love for you 
                despite the charms of gravity 
                keeps me from falling off this Earth  
                into another dimension 
I love you 
            because it is the natural order of things

I love you 
            like the habit I picked up in college 
                of sleeping through lectures 
                or saying I’m sorry 
                when I get stopped for speeding 
            because I drink a glass of water  
                in the morning 
                and chain-smoke cigarettes  
                all through the day 
            because I take my coffee Black  
                and my milk with chocolate 
            because you keep my feet warm  
                though my life a mess 
I love you 
            because I don’t want it 
                any other way

I am helpless 
            in my love for you 
It makes me so happy 
            to hear you call my name 
 I am amazed you can resist 
            locking me in an echo chamber  
            where your voice reverberates  
            through the four walls 
            sending me into spasmatic ecstasy 
I love you 
            because it’s been so good 
            for so long 
            that if I didn’t love you 
            I’d have to be born again 
            and that is not a theological statement 
I am pitiful in my love for you

The Dells tell me Love  
            is so simple 
            the thought though of you 
            sends indescribably delicious multitudinous  
            thrills throughout and through-in my body 
I love you 
            because no two snowflakes are alike  
            and it is possible 
            if you stand tippy-toe 
            to walk between the raindrops 
I love you 
            because I am afraid of the dark 
                and can’t sleep in the light  
            because I rub my eyes 
                when I wake up in the morning 
                and find you there 
            because you with all your magic powers were 
                determined that  
I should love you 
            because there was nothing for you but that  
I would love you
I love you 
            because you made me 
                want to love you 
            more than I love my privacy 
                my freedom         my commitments  
                     and responsibilities 
I love you ’cause I changed my life  
            to love you 
            because you saw me one friday  
                afternoon and decided that I would 
love you 
I love you I love you I love you