Sunday, February 14, 2016

My Bloody Valentines

                     1. The Possibility

If you would speak with me, cut out your tongue
   And I will read the message in your eyes.
If you would age with me, always be young
   Enough to mystify the old and wise.
If you would walk with me, remove your feet
   From shoes and socks, and feel the naked earth
Cuddle against your toes, for Life’s a street
   That paves Love over, smothering its worth.
If you would fly with me, bind up your wings
   And leap with me from the great mountaintop
Of passion, trusting that—when the wind sings
   Through our feathers—our fall will never stop.
      If you would live with me, then you must die
      To nothing but the right to say goodbye.

                     2. The Vacation Spot 

I map you with my eyes, and chart the places
   I want to visit, if I can get past
Customs with all my baggage (and suitcases)
   Cleared for however long my travels last.
And yes, I’ll hit the sights everyone’s seen—
   The have-to-do that and the must-go-there—
And taste your charms and sample your cuisine.
   But I would rather see the places where
Your true delights live, not the packaged pleasures—
   Where no one goes except the ones you trust
To know you utterly—your hidden treasures.
   I crave those with a passion beyond lust.
      Men come and go, which is the tourist’s sin;
      I’d rather stay and be your citizen. 

                  3. Skin Girl

I say I want someone I cannot live
   Without, but every time I feel desire,
It’s for someone I lust for and don’t give
   Two fucks about, except for the damn fire
That burns in me when she extends a limb.
   It’s like I’m Rome and Love just wants me torched.
They’re either bright and cool or hot and dim.
   Why can’t I just be warm instead of scorched?
Why do I have to fight so I can win,
   Like Love’s a battlefield of compromises?
I air-kiss Heaven and French kiss the sin.
   My heart wants what the rest of me despises:
      The chance to share my soul, not just my bed,
      With someone who will be my wine and bread.
                                  4. The Moment

You surge against me like a waterfall.
   I feel your perfect-for-piano hands.
I hear your laughter like a mating call.
   I think of what integrity demands.
I know that the next moment is the one
   That will determine how this night will end:
To let love rule till friendship is undone
   Or with love do no more than friend to friend.
The next step we take here on passion’s cliff
   Determines if we walk away or plummet—
One word creates forever from an if;
   We can betray this moment or become it.
      One night will feed the hunger in our eyes—
      But here and now, it’s better to be wise.

                       5. The Flirt 

When you walk in a room, you make live hearts
   Beat faster, and dead hearts come back to life.
Your smiles pop sad balloons like happy darts;
   Your laugh stabs gloom to death like a bright knife.
You hang on this one’s arm or that one’s shoulder;
   I watch and think: “I wish that could be me,”
Or ask myself: “When do I get to hold her?”
   The answer’s never. You don’t flirt with me.
You’ll work a room from intimate to stranger
   And never start a fire you can’t put out.
You leave my heart untouched, because there’s danger
   In teasing what I’m serious about.
      Because your heart knows mine, you’d only dare
       To hug and kiss me if I didn’t care.

                         6. The Ghost

Above me all the stars are cold and bright.
   The wind cuts through my layers like a knife.
Head down, I wonder who you’re with tonight—
   The drummer, or the lawyer with the wife.
I’m walking even though my ankles ache.
   I like the pain because it makes me feel.
My heart is colder than an Arctic wake.
   I skate around our grave like it’s not real.
I have a friend who likes to tell me lies.
   She says: “I bet she thinks of you a lot.”
You don’t. You walk away when something dies.
   You hate the past. You don’t give it a thought,
      And never waste your time, the way I do,
      Thinking of someone who is dead to you. 

                      7. The Dream

I could die happy if I got the eye
   Faye Dunaway shoots at her handsome hood
Before all the machine gun bullets fly
   At the end of Bonnie and Clyde. I could
Die happy if I found a Mrs. Peel
   To say I’m needed—one who’d be as cool
With me as Rigg was with MacNee, and steal
   My heart like it’s a scene, and be a jewel
That winks and sparkles. And I could die happy
   If I could find a Hepburn or Roz Russell
Who can machine-gun dialogue that’s snappy
   And with whom life would be a screwball tussle.
      Just give me someone fierce and cool and clever
      And my unhappiness will die forever.
Copyright 2016 Matthew J Wells


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