if you believe I can keep a diary
if I can love more than one person
if I kiss you without regret
if the counterfeit bird is real
if I fell into a deep love affair
if I could be quiet
            or leave the house
if the explanation would float
if I could undress without feeling sad
if I could live without letting down others
if the open band of my heart wasn’t bleeding exits
if my anger held your doves
if doves exist
if you suppose I could
            love you
if you were nostalgic like that (I’m nostalgic like that)
if you could see me laughing
if you forgave me for being stoned
if you misunderstood my flirtation for anything more
if I could choose more than contentment
if I could love you and another,
you lord with your tender
            let me buckle us in a church,
be the man who opens me
            who wakes me
if I forgave you for all the crimes in the world
           for drinking too much wine
if we touched or didn’t touch, if our love was counterfeit
            birds, I think I could hear you
           speak to me and then I would sing out

Kelli Russell Agodon is the author of Hourglass Museum (White Pine Press, 2014) and The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice, which she coauthored with Martha Silano. Her other books include Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room, Small Knots, Geography, and Fire On Her Tongue: An Anthology of Contemporary Women’s Poetry which she edited with Annette Spaulding-Convy. Kelli is the co-founder of Two Sylvias Press and was the editor of Crab Creek Review. When not writing or editing, she can be found in her small Northwest seaside town mountain-biking, paddleboarding, or walking her golden retriever, Buddy Holly. See more at www.agodon.com