Jaq asked Shannon to marry her. They had been together for 4 years, but both knew almost immediately after meeting each other that this was the kind of love that lasts. The proposal was at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). Jaq wrote a poem titled “Instructions for Finding the Love of Your Life” on small pieces of cardstock and stuck them to the street lamps at the Urban Light exhibit. Their love story is contained within the poem itself.
Instructions for Finding the Love of Your Life
You will meet her at a house party when you are home from college over winter break. Bring beer in a Christmas stocking. She will think it’s cute. At night’s end, sit on steps outside the locked apartment. If she’s cold (she will be), offer her your jacket.
When you Skype, embarrass yourself by reciting your monologue. She will think it’s cute. The first time you talk, tell her too much.
Wake up, kiss her forehead. Realize that pledge you had to remain unattached has been derailed.
Begin writing her love letters in a journal. Eventually you’ll give this to her on your 1st anniversary.
Move home. Feel the pull. Watch as your lives interlace, the distance between your bodies collapses.
Talk all night. Dig deep, whisper your pasts into quiet earth, smear the ground smooth, soothe the scars, clean the slates. Fall asleep that night with legs entwined in Celtic knots no end, no beginning
Don’t sleep. Slide fingertips through worn jean rips high risen rims over white hips split her lips with a kiss touch her skin spark the thin line tracing the brims of your bodies, not breaking apart and coming together.
Feel certainty. Spoon into the arc of her knees. Study the architecture of her warmth. Wonder how your body slept before your heartbeats harmonized, hypnotized by the rhythm of her steady breath— her pulse in your nerve endings.
Meet her family. Witness her mannerisms in her parents’ gestures, the way she loves her sisters See the concrete layers of her foundation: lessons she learned early, reasons you love her.
Be boring. Read books in bed. Try hard to let her fall asleep before you. Listen to her blood. Feel like bursting.
Injure your shoulder. When you wake in pain in the middle of the night every night for the first few weeks, take note of her soothing voice, the way she stays awake until she knows you are okay.
Buy it when you find it. With concrete countertops and travertine floors, the squares that will wear as you walk; walls that will watch as you age.
In your new home, in your new bed, press into her back, kiss the valley of nerves at her hairline, trace the bumps of her spine, sense the warmth in her thighs, Think to yourself: She is the skin and bones of me.
Buy the ring.
In the center of my chest
beneath the bones and flesh
between the lungs
lies the heart that bids blood to the brain,
bears life in measured beats,
opens and bursts with your laughter,
grows and breaks and burns,
but of every mark left,
yours is the deepest, most lasting groove.
This is our story.
But if it wasn’t,
in 100,000 other lifetimes,
there’d be 100,000 other versions
because I know
yours is the heart
that mine would have never stopped searching for.
You are my scent and sense of home,
the most beautiful, bravest thing I’ve ever held,
and I want a lifetime to listen to you sing;
I want to write you love poetry with 80-year-old fingers.
And I know I’m not perfect,
but this is a promise to never stop trying.
This is the poem I started writing
six months after we met
because I knew then what I still do:
I want you
for the rest of my life.
I want you make you my lawful wedded wife.
So say yes,
to all of my flaws,
and the ocean depth of my devotion.
and I will kneel nightly
at the alter of your aspirations,
every morning chanting affirmations
of my everlasting dedication to our love.
Say yes, my darling,
my beautiful girl.
Say yes when I ask you…
Will you marry me?
- Photography By Wild Whim Design & Photography
- Venue By The 1909
- Florals By Davida Buggs of Flowers by Lady Buggs
- Catering By Seven Dreams Catering
- Hair By Diana Campos of Brides by Diana
- & Carly Brill of Minted Styling
- Makeup By Rachel Pagan of The Heart of Makeup
- Dessert By Cookie Good
- Band By Undercover Live