The webs of Walnut Creek are all spun
white. In our new town, I notice each
grocery store glare. Sticky stares
follow Omid down each aisle.
Still my love keeps quiet
hands. Wears kindness like salt
and pepper stubble. I study him
as he hums to houseplants.
It’s been hard for me to learn a love
so gentle. To believe him when he chants
me close. Hushes gorgeous until I fall
asleep. In the morning, he scrambles eggs.
Spatula in hand, he spots the lonely
daddy-longlegs in a quiet corner. The wall weaver
nestled next to light. He says, needing a home
is such a small thing to be forgiven for.
He lets the delicate geometry
stay. I am slow to learn
how to handle a living thing. I study Omid
as he smiles at spiders. I ask him
how? His speech soft as saffron, breath, a net
I lean against. He tells me he’s been called a terrorist
more times than he can count. His answer: save something
smaller. Call each a guest. Leave all doors open.
Just because the world has called something
poison, he says, doesn’t mean we kill it.
—Kelly Grace Thomas