Every poem is about you. Even the ones
about other people, they’re for your eyes
only. Everyone else who reads this is just a stranger
looking through the window at us.
It always comes back to you.
It will always come back to you.
Let me begin by telling you that I was in love. An ordinary statement, to be sure, but not an ordinary fact, for so few of us learn that love is tenderness, and tenderness is not, as a fair proportion suspect, pity; and still fewer know that hapiness in love is not the absolute focusing of all emotion in another: one has always to love a good many things which the beloved must come only to symbolize; the true beloveds of this world are in their lovers’s eyes lilac opening, ship lights, school bells, a landscape, remembered conversations, friends, a child’s Sunday, lost voices, one’s favourite suit, autumn and all seasons, memory, yes, it being the earth and water of existence, memory.
You are flowers in my stomach.
Cutting me open nightly, blooming through the cracks of the ribs.
I only want to be the sun for you.
One day, whether you
you will stumble upon
someone who will start
a fire in you that cannot die.
However, the saddest,
most awful truth
you will ever come to find––
is they are not always
with whom we spend our lives.
Wouldn’t we be quite the pair?—you with your bad heart, me with my bad head. Together, though, we might have something worthwhile.
I avoid speaking your name in conversation,
throwing it to the air as if it were nothing
more than an assumption of you; it is my last
mode of defence. The last item of clothing
to discard before I realise I’m naked in public.
Because they can hear it in my voice. I know.
Even in that one short syllable that means
everything and nothing; your name is as common
as you are rare. As easy as you are not.
As simple as love should be, but never is.
But when I’m alone, I tie my tongue softly
round the familiar sound, as if pronouncing
with conviction the phonetics of desire
will cause time to pause just long enough
for the earth to hear me naming my loss.
Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.
Perhaps all our loves are merely hints and symbols.