What follows is one of my favorite poems of all time. Its uniqueness lies in its willingness to address some truths that most other wedding readings don’t: that you have both loved others, and that you are imperfect people. Depending on your experiences, those truths may be hard to acknowledge during your ceremony. Keep this in mind if you’re considering this for your reading.
I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at with a mouthful of forevers. We have both known loss like the sharp edges of a knife. We have both lived with lips more scar tissue than skin. Our love came unannounced in the middle of the night.
Our love came when we’d given up on asking love to come. I think that has to be part of its miracle.
This is how we heal.
I will kiss you like forgiveness. You will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms will bandage and we will press promises between us like flowers in a book. I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat on your skin. I will write novels to the scar of your nose. I will write a dictionary of all the words I have used trying to describe the way it feels to have finally, finally found you.
And I will not be afraid of your scars.
I know sometimes it’s still hard to let me see you in all your cracked perfection, but please know: whether it’s the days you burn more brilliant than the sun or the nights you collapse into my lap your body broken into a thousand questions, you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.