Love Poems Never Start With Periods Because

by Jonathon Garcia

At Barnes and Noble I met a geology book Period who felt it was
his
disquieting duty to end things, the way a boulder breaks a
shovel—

Another Period, from a trailer instruction manual, saw himself
more
as a ball hitch, sentenced to aging taskheavy constant under the
weight of words—

Then, skimming a road atlas at Jiffy Lube, I overheard Periods
boasting of their travel credentials; soon they were surrounded by
a
gang of parentheses saying they were only mere odometer reset
knobs,
cleared at the push of a button—

In the New York Times, one agitated young Palestinian Period
threw
demonstrations at the Israelis like rocks, the fullness of his intent
to
reclaim his homeland with a form of reverse erosion, stoning
goliath
stones back to where they once were—

Finally, as I read the classifieds, a low-income Period complained
to
me that his unmarried status translated into astronomical
withholdings from his paycheck, noting that the families of
ellipses
are the only punctuation marks to get tax breaks—

I told him the only surefire way out of sweeping Wal-Mart’s floors
was a degree or a lover—

Last I heard, he’s studying English to teach high school grammar
and at nights he dances over at the Azucar Morena Salsa Club,
slowly
caramelized in the heat of Maribel’s question mark curves—

Puerto Rican she!  Exclamation pointing him, beckoning him inkfresh off the page—

*Whispering in her ear, he promises to love her with all the
syntactic
beauty in the world but a Period—