I tell her more often now because
she is ageless and I am over seventy.
Because it’s the same girl’s face
I first got to know fifty years ago
with the same sunburst of energy.
Because starting out together was predictable
but the end of either one of us now
may come like a ballooning shadow.
Because so many things people say
have indefinite meanings
but these three words are ever unambiguous.
Because I have breath enough to say them yet
and she has generously listened.
Because she is not a cat and I am not a dog.

Michael Salçman is the author The Clock Made of Confetti (Orchises), The Enemy of Good Is Better (Orchises) and A Prague Spring, Before & After, winner of the 2015 Sinclair Poetry Prize from Evening Street Press. His poems have appeared in Arts & LettersHarvard ReviewHopkins ReviewThe Hudson ReviewNew LettersOntario ReviewPoet Lore, and elsewhere.