Love Poem No. 54
I wish I knew how you create ceramics. Do you start with clay?
There. I show how ignorant I am when it comes to raw materials to shape
and heat to art; smooth, bright colored discs both square and circular,
bearing little semblance to their first consistency. You like your women
strong of body, pliable as clumps of dough under your rugged hands as you
sometimes seem to want to shape them into stone statues.
I’m neither clay nor rock. Though made of earth, my flesh is flesh.
But not my mind. There lays my strength, where you can never place
your hands, and yet you’ve shaped it into something kindlier as it absorbs
new sights and feelings. What’s lacking in my love: you won’t say love,
but the more that you stand firm in your denial,
the more I love.
Editor’s Note: This poem is very conversational in tone, yet by the end, the narrator’s inflection belies such easy familiarity with the tenacity of emotion presented. Look at the long line lengths and how the shortness of the last one drives home the central theme: “…I love.”