Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Bones of Love

Below, some fragments from unfinished love poems.

I like to think that someday, in the near distant future, literary paleontologists will look at these stray fossils and construct whole poems out of them.

(Yes--that would make me the male Sappho.)

With my last breath, I will exhale your name:
A moth who burns for joy, kissing your flame.

And make a future equal to our dreams

Like sun and rain, we will combine to make
A garden out of what we could alone
Make nothing

A whole in loving greater than its parts

There’s only tension when we never pay

Love writes a poem filled with perfect rhymes;
Marriage sees all the typos

Light is not light unless it shines in darkness;
Love is not love unless it’s the oasis
In hatred’s desert

I need you like the bullet needs the wound

Happiness is the only mortal wound
That doesn’t need a bandage

There must be some way we can share this bed
Without having to shrink to fit inside
Its narrow confines

I think of you the way fish think of water--
As a world to be lived in

You say “I love you,” but I know you mean
“Te Quiero,” not “Te Amo,” which is why
I die inside each time you whisper it

Love bright and cold like some far distant star

Love is a land mine I keep stepping on
To count how many pieces I have left
After I'm blown apart

Before you, I was happy to be wanting

Love is the fire in winter, and the breeze
In summer, that make livable the cold
And itchy heat of intimacy’s house

You make me weak so you can be my strength--
You cripple me, and then sell me the crutch.

That’s why I’ll always love you: because I
Can never hit your curve ball

A love so strong, together we can dine
On it and never see an empty plate

Of course you wound me.  How else can I bleed?

Let love be what we each in faith profess
And life the space in our togetherness.

My backwards steps all end up in your arms

The wooing clock stops when we say “I do.”
That’s when the clock of marriage starts to tick,
A timepiece that will need ten times more tending
For it, and us, to work

My love letters have just one vowel: you

Oh let us say
“Always” and “Never” like young lovers do,
And not like warring married couples, who
Shoot them like bullets in an argument

You live on drama, so that’s what I feed you.
You’re all that’s wrong with me--that’s why I need you.

Your lips, those succulent dishonest twins

And trade the whole world for a pair of eyes
In which that world’s reflected

If you
Were within reach, I’d never let you go

You are my cross; I am your passion’s toy--
My love for you a crucifix of joy.

Each time I please you or I make you laugh,
My heart salmons a waterfall

I want to leave this life holding your hand

Your soul’s a sword not even God can sheathe.
You are my tree: what you exhale, I breathe.

Copyright 2012 Matthew J Wells

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