this is not a love poem


And if it were a love poem I would talk about the wildness
of the sea, the eerie green that flashed against the rocks
on that mediterranean promontory, the curling of the lashes
in your eyes but what I mean to say, this is not a girl
meets boy, falls, contracts an influenza-type disease,
her bones ache, she comes to know her heartbeat,
her short extremities feel withered, he knows her, knows
her not, this is not a love, remembers all the names of streets
seen in a haze, the ancient pavements rising up in memory,
this is not a love, life is a short, an ancient, a new, withered
extremity, this is not a love, the gaslights of the past
light up the foggy evening air, the murk is present in a soup
unclarified by sense, well rarified by circumstance, this is not
and if it were would I discuss the lips I had imagined, words
I had conceived, the dark embrace of sex against the lash
of death, this is not a love, of ships that pass, of cabbages,
of all the endless quandaries a mind can play with
from an early age, this is not a, 
age withers, the mind withers, love,
this is
withers withers withers,


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