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Love, If I Dare Say

My younger self, my inner
child turned out – how quick
you are to mimic, to mock

You seem to think I blaspheme
my pen, this page, your eyes, our time
by conjuring a four letter word: love

You squirm in your chair, unable
to forgive the cliché of my romance
so even seduction is not enough, even
voicing desperation is too paltry a guise
to sugar the pill of my earnest honesties

But you are simply spring-green, unbreakable
judging love as a pastime for the elderly
and it can be genteel and comforting --
as plush as the art of the bourgeoisie

It’s risks are trivial to the reckless;
it promises no wealth or notoriety;
it threatens no snapped bones or ransomed pockets
if, in error, just an emptied body racked
by the fever pitch of memory

What consequence is that to a girl
who is full of fire and verve?
What chill is there in solitude
to youth swaggering with nerve?

Yet, as graveyard etiquette grows familiar
and debts bedeck us (our proud ornamental anchors)
the heart turns shrewd as a stockbroker
calculating a dark deficit in time

Age, that monster, muddles caution with virtue
trims down dreams with a practical knife
into smart checklists, manageable goals; never satisfied
dims vision’s largesse with spendthrift chiding

A tongue touched by the vinegar
of loss (real loss, which sears in “Never again”)
becomes too blunt to muffle curses like love
Yet, what a happy hell to be tamed by affection --
how trivial is the new, when I do not want
to die in a museum, I want to die with just a few
established companions surrounding, one familiar
hand in my own – a simple, needed touch unguilded
by anything but a sense of belonging, of what is meant by “own” –
the sweet, heavy pang of having known home

You are young, there are untamed wilds
whole continents of thought ahead of you
There is no mystery in the lack of translation
between my lexicon and yours..
No, I would not dream of boring you more
with my prattle of age and placation
So run outdoors and play at veneration
while I sit by a closed window and sigh
at the faint echo of my reflection and my
impassive, vexingly moderate damnation…

my feeling feminine heart’s slight starvation
my cultured sensitivity, to laugh and nearly cry




------
"All the darkness in the world
cannot put out the light
of one candle"


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Comments

The following comments are for "Love, If I Dare Say"
by hazelfaern

Oh, Madame Lucie!

I would be eloquent in response but I hadn't expected anyone to notice this poem, let alone yourself (curse AOL and it's unpredictable messenger system, jeez)

You, however, are lovely and rock-some and wow... the English language proves itstelf limited in your presence. Seriously, are you back, lady? I may have to be a bit more present and aware 'round these parts if you are. 'Cuz, well, see above. And, well, you know, the quality of your poetry is what Lit's all about.

And have I mentioned that I've missed you? And your irreplaceable voice?

Have I asked you to stick around a little bit? Because I've meant to... and, seriously, you should (cuz we miss you like crazy when you don't, you know)

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: July 23, 2005 )

love story

Quite a strong piece of work, Jennifer, I'd hate to be on the receiving end of this.

It's very dense with ideas, speed readers need not apply - maybe that's his trouble.

It's struck me how many love affairs seem to end with a sense of mistaken identity.

( Posted by: johnlibertus [Member] On: August 5, 2005 )





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