LOVE POEM #75 – LAST RITES

I didn’t think one stanza would be enough

to tell you how much I loved you,

but now that you’ve scratched out my other lines

there isn’t any room on the page to say more.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #73 – HEADSTONE CHATTER

Did you hear they cut down our tree?

They dragged the kids out from the branches

then dismembered it limb by limb

until it stood empty like a hollow woman

then in a final swoop of mechanical justice

toppled her like a pair of heels on a night out.

I took a hike up the wilderness trail last week.

The white flowers were in full bloom;

I still can’t remember what you called them.

I saw a pair of cubs running through the trees.

They reminded me of Taylor and Tom

the way they roughhoused in the grass

like they didn’t even know we were watching.

They always came home with grass stains.

Do you see them anymore?

Anyway, sorry I haven’t been by in a while.

Doc told me there’s only a few months to go

and I took a trip to see your mom in Peru.

——

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LOVE POEM #72 – THE LETTER

What more can be said after I love you?

The next sentence will always fall flatter

like a wooden block to a bouncy ball,

and yet I always mumble something out.

 

Take this last letter as an example:

a full six sentences followed the spill,

glugging from the water jug of my heart

until the whole page had nearly flooded.

 

The I love you had been washed away, gone,

rinsed clean along with the apologies

and mopped up again by solemn pen strokes

who couldn’t settle for putting three words.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #71 – EVEN AFTER

Even after the last cliché tropes lay burnt and dead in the hearth

and the final sonnets lie buried beneath the brittle house of poetry,

 

Even after the happiness has fled from every ever after

and the storybooks have fallen apart at the seams,

 

Even after the ocean floors have split under the hot rays of a swollen sun

and the fiery rains have extinguished the last breath of earthly life,

 

Even after the almighty gates of Heaven give way to rust

and the unbreakable chains of Hell finally begin to bend,

 

Even after all these things have come and gone,

the length of my love won’t find its end.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #70 – IN BLACK INK

Shakespeare wrote of temperate days

where worry lived for love to fade.

For beauty can’t hope to outlast

the polished sheen of brilliant brass,

nor could the length of love outlive

the earthly pierce of a steel shiv.

 

But even the blackest inks fade,

and all the digging done by spades

could not unearth the word of time

who blanks the powers of our prime.

 

And yet, as aged as we may be,

only in love can life complete me.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #69 – WHISTLIN’ IN THE DARK

I laughed at Don Lockwood for dancing

out on the damp, dimly lit sidewalk

when I first saw him singing in the rain

just ‘cause he got kissed by some brown-haired babe,

 

but when I was walking home last night

after all the lights on eleventh had gone out,

I could hardly contain the skip in my step,

much less the whistle wrenched between my teeth

 

and as I came across a lone, flickering lamppost,

I embraced it wholeheartedly, as he had,

as though it were the one that had shot me full of electricity

and upgraded my black-and-white life to full Technicolor.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #68 – OUR SWEETEST KISS

Behind the bleachers after Homecoming

was the crème de la crème for a long time.

The crowd cried out in victory

and our careful embrace lasted an eternity.

 

It wasn’t until that night on the ocean

after the sun had set, and the surveyors

had disappeared into their dreary vans

that the moonlight granted us a silent usurper.

 

But the sweetest of our kisses

is one you have no doubt forgotten

in the passing time between then and now

as our bones grow stale with senility.

 

It was under the cedar tree on our daily walk

when our weary legs begged for a moment abench.

The wind was blowing like any other day

and that peck you thought nothing of

left me whirling along with it.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #67 – LES MÉMOIRES

Walking into the cozy French café

might stir a whirlwind of lost memories

long forgotten, like the postcards

from Nice and Paris, fluttering into view,

that I cherished and burned a lifetime ago.

 

Or Le Moulin, playing softly in the rafters

might remind you of a dance we shared at midnight

to a song that wafted through the window shutters,

reverberating into the walls of the wood apartment.

 

Or the booths might do it.

Like Dorothy in her bedroom,

those red cushions will lift you off to Oz,

where the echoes of laughter sit, waiting

for the ghost of her to apparate across from you,

 

but then the server comes crashing down

like a house dropped from a million miles above

ripping you from your fantasy

as if you had stolen their most precious pair of shoes.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #66 – HERE COMES THE STORM

It always starts with the clouds

seeping in after a long day’s work.

You won’t spot them,

as you mutter about the dishes,

if you don’t look out the window.

 

Your morning of watery coffee

and soggy granola will grow damp

when you go to rinse your bowl

and catch their cup on the counter,

left, empty, in the hustle to their car.

 

Then it’s your turn to pop the cover

on your two-person umbrella

and slog down the road, lost

in the downpour of your own thoughts.

 

Work will hide the sounds of the storm.

The pencil scratches drown out your personal life,

and only the occasional crack of lightning

will shock you from your presentation.

 

But the walk home finds a tempest in full motion,

the wind, the rain, and the river flooding the sidewalk

choke out all other thoughts, and all you can focus on

is that goddamn cup they left on the counter again

sitting expectantly, for you to clean up.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #65 – AT THE RESTAURANT

The world feels so still

in the restless banter of the restaurant

where the TV is blaring

and no one is staring

at us, sitting in the middle of a haze

waiting to whisper words

through the puffs of smoke.

——

 

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