Home > Poetry > A Conversation About the Love Poem I Wouldn’t Write

A Conversation About the Love Poem I Wouldn’t Write

A Conversation About the Love Poem I Wouldn’t Write

One Sunday, between coffee
and taking care of the dirty sheets,
you asked me: would you ever
write a happy poem?
I told you no. I said
that chaos dances better
on my tongue, that desire
dreams more vividly
than any shiny
happy thing – so no I wouldn’t
write a happy poem.

Fine, you said. I knew you didn’t
understand, but you were trying –
and that has to count for something.
What about a love poem?

With one hand dirty, the other hand clean,
that stopped me mid-smile. What about a love poem?
Could I do that? Make something
that shines with our secrets, that dances
through the darkness, that comes out
on the other side of silence – warm
and pleased, like a lazy cat?

Love. Is that what that is?
Is that how it’s supposed to be
or seem? I didn’t know. I still don’t.
I must’ve smiled
and shook my head. You looked sad
for a moment, and then left the room.

I called out to you, saying
I can’t write you that,
but I can write you a lust poem,
something that’s still slippery
in the dark, but not easily grasped.

It’s harder to explain love
than lust. One is complete need. The Other
is a combination of need
and everything else.

You didn’t reappear. I heard you
call back No, I already know
how lust feels in my mouth; I wanted
to taste love for just a moment,
salt and syllables
boiled down to stanzas
and line breaks and word choice.

And if I can’t do that? I asked.
I was afraid of the words,
afraid of the question. It’s always easier
to ask forgiveness, not permission –
but sometimes, the lie
is easier to hear than truth.

You didn’t say anything.
I heard the shower start running.
The bathroom door shut
with a click. Something ran
out of the room then, limping
and wet, shadowy and impossibly quick.

I don’t know what it was.
I might if I saw it again.
All I know is that it did not come back.

Categories: Poetry
  1. June 23, 2011 at 8:48 am

    As you know, my literary side is not mature enough to understand or appreciate much poetry. BUT, I love this. And that is a huge compliment coming from me. 🙂

  2. Jessica
    June 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    I think love is such a difficult phenomenon to adequately describe or write about because it makes NO GOD DAMN SENSE…


    • Ali
      June 24, 2011 at 9:08 am

      Jessica, HA. True. So, so very true. Nonsense FTW! 🙂

  3. Ali
    June 24, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Luann, thank you very much. I’m really glad that you enjoyed it!! 🙂

  4. June 28, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Wow, Ali I really, really love this one! Consider this post “liked.” 🙂

    • Ali
      July 4, 2011 at 11:41 am

      *blush* Thank you, my dear!!!

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