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To love the dream
More than the man
Isn't love
She will lose herself in a book
and find herself in poetry

She thinks that religion is a sacrilege
and that long showers are sacred

She makes love when she's tired
and never tires of making love

She is irreverent in her humor
and pious in her gravity

She is diligent in completing her work
and ambitious of her quest for leisure

She is the personification of romanticism
and the embodiment of compassion

She exists harmoniously in my mind
How many authors,
Unearthly meticulous,
Have left us symbols in scarves; or, say,
Surreptitiously submerged in salad dressing,
The idea of the priest confessing;
Clues folded carefully between innocuous lines,
So carefully that in ten thousand pairs of eyes,
Not one perceives the crease?

And what kind of beautiful sadist plants flowers in shadow?

I cannot bear the empty tears that they must shed,
The monstrous mute meaninglessness of these
Lessons taught, and not learned!
Worse: words, while wise,
Are not our only teachers.

So I look for the mirrors in smoke,
And in skies, in eyes,
In every word the wind spoke.
Until everything is a mirror;
Everything, however dull, reflects.

When I tried to ride a bicycle today--
And not just because I want that idiom to be true,
But simply because I want to learn how--
When I put my heart to the pedal,
And the wind bent down to whisper,
Unintelligible, but clearly intelligent,
Into my ear,
It felt like I had failed them;
I could not listen, but only hear.

On this generally generous June morning,
The very last of the Daylilies bloomed.
I saw it later, in an evening hour,
And I imagined, as I rode past,
That it (or its reflection) asked
“Might I be, after all, only a flower?”

“To navigate by mirror alone
Is to walk always in reverse.”
So the lily seemed to say
As it awaited, alone, its floral hearse.

I will not, without reason,
Deny a dying wish.
Along the city’s second longest street
At the end of its second longest month
Walked a woman, in plaid,
Lugging an incongruous antique lamp
Toward the sun.

In the desert, the dunes,
The piles of grains of sand,
Are constantly rearranged,
Redistributed, reconciled by the winds--
Are, in short, in flux--
Are never what they once were,
And never will be again.

When the wind’s favor, for a while,
Aggrandizes a particular pile,
Does it look down upon its fellows?
Does it call itself a king, and proclaim,
“Bow before me, for I am the mightiest,
The grainiest, the sandiest
Of all possible piles of grains of sand;
For I have, I am more of nothing
Than you will ever understand”?
She tells him this better be the last one--
the last first love poem he'll write.
The title, she says, needs to be brief,
something any lover can relate to.
Do you want me to leave the room
while you write it?


With one step she's no longer in the
living room, she's in the middle of the
apartment kitchen. There are two bowls,
two spoons in the sink. The bellowing heater
acts as background, smoothing the space
with its hum. She squeezes a drop of soap
into each bowl. Fills both with hot water.

Any lover needs to be able to relate, she says,
but make sure you set it somewhere romantic--
not Paris, Rome, or anything like that--but
next to a body of water. There should be
birds. Clouds and rain. Not sunshine. Don't
you think?

He thinks.

She works the bowls over with a dishrag.
Dinner, breakfast--whatever you want to call it--was good, she says.


She dries the bowls, places them in the cabinet.
Have you written a line yet?


Can I read it?

Not yet.

When I wake up?

When you wake up.

With a hand to each side of his face,
she denotes the spots he missed shaving
with her index fingers. Here, she says.
Here. Here.

The lines run from the corners of his eyes
as he smiles. Now she marks these.
She kisses him; she doesn't say, I love you.
Not yet.

Wake me up before you go to work, okay?


With one step she's in the bedroom.
The bed's a couch.
She pulls the quilt up to her chin.
Her body curls.
She says, Hang out with me in
my dreams.

Wouldn't miss it.

Good morning.

Good morning.

A few minutes later her breath
goes steady, falling in line with
the heater.

The sun starts seeping in through
the blinds. The loose strands of
her hair become gold. He draws
the curtains so the light does not
wake her. She, he types.

In an apartment where once was one--
one toothbrush, one set of sneakers
by the door--now there are two.
Everything paired off and content in
its pairing.

Is a woman, he types. He hits the delete key once.
Then he types N again.

Her makeup bag is on the dining table.
Islands of stray powder dot the bag.
Her brush is on the coffee table
next to the couch. Countless
numbers of hairpins are embedded in the carpet.

I can't make it in today, he says into the receiver.
Yeah, not feeling too good. Thank you, sir. Will do.
Alright. Yeah, you too.

When he presses in beside her, she says, I've been awake
the whole time.

Have not.

Have too. Did you finish it?


Can I read it?

After you actually get some sleep.

What'd you call it?

Is a Woman.

I like that.
nothing is more inappropriate
or unjust
of a poem written,
than not giving it
an appropriate title
but rather disrespectfully,
leaving it with out one.
You’re so lame, avoiding butterflies
You’re too scared that you might be moved
You chose to play it safe
That’s lame
I offered you my fine wings to ride on
I gave you all the gold you need
I let you lived in my pretty brilliant brain
You was so fine there
But you blew it all away
All the sweet little thoughts that I built
You let them vanished in your vanishing point
You knew in your beating heart that I am loaded
You knew in your profound brain, I am qualified
No wonder why you turned me down
I might be too much to handle
All in all, still, you are so lame
You’re lame, avoiding those powered butterflies.
I won't love you like a man will love you.
I won't love you
Like a woman will love you either.
I wish I could say
I fit something I knew a word for
In terms of love.
But no.
I will love you
Like the ground loves the rain after a drought.
I will love you like the moon
Loves its little glimpses of the sun
As it slips behind the earth again,
So similar but so different,
Never in the same place at once.
I will love you
In terms of Nature
I will love you
In terms of
I cannot love you in terms of man
Or woman
Unless you mean
All that either has ever been.
And I think I should apologize-
I think you should know that
If you think this is different because I am a woman,
That's not why.
It is different because I am a cyclone,
An earthquake,
A natural disaster of hurt and hope,
And I love you like the planets love the star
That gravity bends them towards
And that
Is not how any man or woman I've ever met
Has loved before.
And I am not sure if I will ever meet another one
Like me.
And I am not sure
I would even want to.
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