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An Ode to Cohabitation Vows         Aleenah Ansari

Seattle, WA



For Liezel

I like the idea of

Standing by you in sickness and in health

But that’s not the only thing I promise

I take thee for making chocolate chip breakfast pancakes  

while the sun wakes me up

8 a.m. coffee runs

Sleepy morning kisses and crescent eyelids

Writing love letters

that will make our story famous one day


I take you for poorer now,

For all the tears we can’t stop crying

The weigh our shoulders might sag

from the tough conversations

and the heavier weight of trying to get this right

But the airport visits that have taught us

the art of saying goodbye

But at least we know to cherish

the moments we have


I hope you’ll have me

For the way I tease you

And refuse to make little plans

With stars in my eyes

That shine the way you do


I promise to pretend to help you make dinner

Even if I’m chopping vegetables for hours

Fill your cup with jasmine tea

And warmth from me no matter the weather

If you’ll give me all of you

Unconditionally and unabashedly


I hope you never stop asking me

Can you get used to this?

But truthfully

The idea that you will always be mine

Will always make me feel like I’m gleaming


So put a vase out on the table

for the flowers I’ll buy on the way home

Indulge in a future

Where you turn to me

If you wake up from nightmares

So I can make you feel a little sweeter


But as long as we get to say goodnight

I promise I’ll make the moon shine just for us

and we’ll walk rainbow roads all the way home