Every sentence from the novel Because containing the word “love.”


I want our children and their children to be happy, to live lives remembered joyfully in songs and in stories with great love and loud laughter and pride in their surnames.

I want, badly, for you to love me.

I want to be remembered as happy and loving.

I want to look back on my life and remember it happily and lovingly and proudly, and if I have to remember my life differently, if that will make me happier, then yes, I want to remember differently.

I want them to tell stories of how I cartwheeled and sang, of how much I loved and was loved.

I want to be a better lover.

I want my family to understand that my choosing to live far away is not because I don’t love them.

I want you to know the love of your life. I want you to marry.

I want you to know true love, and I want to know what you love. I want to know what it’s like to be the one who truly loves you.

I want to visit for reasons greater than some metaphorical sense of needing to water the roots that remain, this kind of obligatory maintenance that isn’t love or interest so much as avoidance of shame. I want love for reasons beyond bloodline or responsibility.

I want it to be a love letter, a prayer, a purge.

I want to tell you how many rainy days in New York City someone has said to me, You must love this weather, with a bit of disdain.

I want to know if he loved them.

I want to know what it’s like to be a dog that is loved.

I want someone to tell them I loved my wife and children above all.

I want to know if gravity is actually love, unconquerable and constant and mysterious, or if this is just coincidence and me stretching meaning.

I want to tell you about the atheist owner, who tolerated the church music so long as we didn’t proselytize, Just love each other, he said, You don’t need a god to know love’s the way to live, he said. I want to tell you how we were good at that, at being happy and loving, and how that was all those songs were about, really, just love, and they were simple and beautiful. I want to tell you how I love those songs still.

I want to know if it was God who made music then so bright and full, sparkly with love and hope and joy, whatever it is that makes born-agains glow as if pregnant with faith.

I want to know if I really loved those people I prayed with or if I just liked that we were kind to one another.

I want my child or children to love me and respect me.

I want to tell you how in the summertime when we went swimming with the neighbor kids, I felt like our family owned more of the lake than they did, because we had filled it ourselves, because the lake was something our family had built and maintained, how it was something our family loved most, how it was our shared secret.

I want to hold the heart of an artichoke next to a child’s ear and ask them if they can hear the love in it.

I want to tell you how they always end rhyming “lots of love” with “God’s blessings from above.”

I want my children to love their family.

I want my children to do what they love.

I want them to love books.

I want our children to love the morning blossoms of a magnolia.

I want to give a speech on international television so that I can thank everyone I love for everything they are.

I want it to play all of the songs we’ve forgotten we loved.

I want to tell you how my grandmother hates squirrels and loves raccoons. I want to tell you how she loves seagulls and hates hummingbirds. I want to tell you how she loved her grandchildren but hates the neighbors’.

I want you to remember my grandmother with love, as I do, even if you’ve never met her.

I want you to understand how much I love hearing her tell these stories.

I want to tell you how, when I was a pallbearer alongside my cousins, I wanted to let myself feel all the emotions of loss and love that I thought a person should feel at a family funeral.

I want to not ever have to speak at a funeral unprepared, but I want to give an eloquent eulogy for someone dearly loved by many.

I want to know what it’s like to be a movie star, someone pretending to fall in love.

I want more love in general.

I want you to know that I love you for reading this, for listening.

I want to grow very small and ride on the back of a spider as it weaves its web, for no reason other than I had the idea and it seems like a lovely, fun, and artistic thing to do.

I want to rock in a rocking chair on the porch of a traveling island and write letters to whomever we love back home.

I want Jenns’ family to know that we loved him.

I want to type and repeat the words I Love You until the ribbon gives out.

I want to write a sentence so lovely I’ll want it tattooed across my forearm.

I want to know if we love harder or if it just seems that way. I want to say that maybe this is just the nature of love, that it’s like granite, like glacier, for those who are really in it.

I want to know the stories of my ancestors, of who and what and how they loved.

I want them to know about the wife I loved, the places I lived, the things I did.

I want to dream of being a writer living in New York City, with a beautiful woman

who loves me and a tree-lined street and a bicycle.

I want love to be enough for anything, anywhere.

I want a grandfather clock with pinkstained glass for its face, and I want it to refract the clock hands in such a way that time is always wrong in a lovelier way than right.

I want to know if absolute belief in religion is different than absolute belief in love. I want you to know the feeling of absolute love.

I want a new Ginger and Juno for my children to love.

I want us to write more love letters.

I want to tell you how she was the editor and I was a columnist in trouble for fictionalizing an article about a love song.

I want to know if I would have fallen in love with a nurse during the war.

I want to sit invisibly on 1940’s front porches and watch the faces of loved ones arriving home early and alive.

I want to know how it feels to resist these things, to live through these things, to perform these things, to have loved ones who’ve endured these things.

I want to breathe as you breathe, and I want our hearts to beat together as we sing old love songs together as loud as we can.

I want you to feel love swelling in your heart.

I want to tell you how I wanted, at that moment, nothing more than to commit to my life to the love of Jesus, or whatever this goodness was I’d discovered amidst these football players and friends.

I want to tell you how I still believe, I think, somewhere deep down, but I want to tell you that what I believe in now is Love, with an initial capitalization, Love like God, Love like the sound of open-E guitar with brand new strings.

I want to tell you how, the first time our ex-football-coachturned-preacher said, God is Love, it was the first time I actually heard it.

I want to know if the song my grandfather sang was a war song or a love song, fight song or pop song, holiday or drinking, camp song or soul song, swing song or heart song or sing-a-long psalm song.

I want blood gone green and pink-purple with a great beating heart full of love.

I want to tell you how, for Mother’s Day in 1990, my sister painted ‘I love MOM’ on the wall of the garage and how I helped her do it so it would be spelt right.

I want to know how much I can love, how much wanting and heart I have in me.

Because I want, if nothing else, for you to understand how much we love.




Photo By: Boris SV