I began a sketch of you some four years ago–
picked up paper and pencil and scratched out half a profile,
topped with wild, curled hair that shadowed your face.
And then I crumpled the sheet and threw it aside.
I drew other faces with fine hair and full lips,
bushy brows and stately noses;
and they all had your eyes.
I came back to the sketch I forgot:
I did not recognize the form I’d made, and neither did you.
Together we erased the lines of that old sketch,
blew away the excess and picked up a pen.
The eyes, to start: flickering nebulas centered with black holes,
leading to universes and dimensions I do not fully understand
and neither do you, and we are astounded.
Beneath, the scattered stars that dance across your cheekbones,
And smoothed back from your temples:
hair that does not hide your face, but frames it.
And below are the sweet lips that warm my heart with their breath
And flame my cheeks with their words:
they smile at me and I smile too
and pass on some charming witticism.
This sketch is not complete—
you know as well as I that you will change and grow and wax and wane
But here I will try to do your visage and your person justice with this:
You live a sort of brilliance, with a mind methodic, spritely,
and possess a heart unashamed to laugh, cry, love
for you know it is honorable to live and love.