To Kimber After Twenty Years
by Chris Wilson

Royal fortress of the uncleared forest–
from cyne-: royal, queenly. Your rain,
dark selva, of blessings and baptisms.
If love were safety, I’d be safe in you.

The village of the most closely loyal–
from kuni-: race or genealogy.
A tribe of friends like blood: community.
If love were a story, it would be ours.

A body tangled with me in the dark.
from genh-: produce, beget. To bear, to know,
to come to pass as wishes are realized.
Love is a language falling from your tongue.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTOGRAPH: Getting Gay Married in San Francisco (February 13, 2004).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this hymn to my partner’s name for our anniversary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Chris Wilson has an MFA from Pacific Lutheran University’s Rainier Writing Workshop. Her poems have appeared in Squaw Valley Review, Fourteen Hills, and elsewhere.