Category Archives: love poems

The Ways I Do Not Love You

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“An un-love poem isn’t a poem of hate, exactly — that might be a bit too shrill or boring. It’s more like a poem of sarcastic dislike. “

The Ways I Do Not Love You

I do not want to count the ways I do not love you.
To do so casts me too solidly in your image
without your excuses
for doing what you did:
that you were crazy-jealous,
crazy-in love, crazy-in rejection,
crazy period.

I had always wanted to be loved to distraction,
but being loved to craziness is another thing:
your deep truck tracks carving artless Nazca lines
into the fresh sod of my yard,
the new mailbox snapped off at its base,
the queries from strangers who had met you in a bar
and heard all of the intimate details
of your insane version of our love affair.
The letters to every member of the school board,
every administrator in the district, every lawyer,
every preacher in our town of 50,000,
telling of the wild schoolteacher
and outing her gay friends.

I do not want to count the ways
you proved the heartbreak
of your love for me,
those ways that now delineate
the ways I do not love you.

I do not even love the memory of you
at Vedauwoo, standing on the monolithic rock,
your sun-shy son crouched in its shade.

I do not love the memory
of driving to Jackson Hole,
the twelve-foot-high banks of snow
on either side of the highway
that made it impossible to slide off the road.
The dark, split by our headlights,
pixilated by the mesmerizing onslaught of snow;
and suddenly, the miraculous glimpse of the giant elk
arcing from the left hand snow mass, high above us, over to the bank on the other side,
leaving us spellbound and mute,
as though this was a miracle
neither of us had the words to describe.

What are you, about 21? You asked
that first night at the Ramada.
The music was starting
and I thought you were there to ask me for a dance.
When I answered 26, you smiled that crooked smile
and walked away.
That unpredictable mystery of you
was what kept me intrigued.
I never could stand the ordinary.

Not that I love the memory of this.
And not that I know how long the list would be
of why I do not love you any more.
My mind wanders through the memory of you
like a lazy woman picking chocolates:
testing one and discarding it.
Choosing another.
Finally deciding
perhaps it is the brand of chocolates
that does not suit.
Oh, my once-darling,
I despise the thought of you.
Even these intrusive memories
cannot win me back.

You told me once, “Babe, you are so good
that you don’t even realize your powers.”
You’d lost your job and most of your friends
and blamed it all on me.
Even your friends had chosen my side, you said,
blaming me when I didn’t even know there was a game,
let alone its rules or its consequences.

I do not want to number all the ways
I do not love you anymore.
Suffice it to say that once over,
love might as well have never been.
Like a snowflake on a sun-warmed sidewalk,
there is no evidence
of its ever having existed.

Better to exhaust one’s efforts on a new love,
for there is no way to list the ways you do not love.
No way to bring to light now that list
that you have never written.

That list.

That list that you keep hidden
in the back of your heart
with all of your life’s other
impossibilities.

 

This is a piece I wrote four years ago, reblogged  for a prompt from  dVerse Poets Pub.

Hidden Treasure

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Hidden Treasure

What we keep hidden from each other
forms the mystery that keeps us coming back for more.
Like the relish that enhances the main course.
Like the dessert at the end of the meal,
not the real nourishment, but rather 
a reward for putting up with the day-to-day
ragtag repetitions, irritations, boredoms
of knowing each other so well.
The loyalties, down to the heart honesties,
those passions held in common, those trials shared
are the meals we feed each other day-by-day.
But what person does not need, as well,
the thrill of the unopened package,
the darkness hidden under the stairs?

 

FOWC’s prompt for the day is Hidden.

That Small Feeling

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That Small Feeling That Something’s Wrong

My intuition sounds its gong.
I have an inkling something’s wrong.
I look  around  for what’s amiss,
but cannot tell what signals this.
My arm and neck hairs stir and rise,
as if to warn me of surprise.
This tiny hunch keeps me alert,
but insight is a fickle flirt.
When nothing happens, it goes away
and I live out my normal day.
That tiny niggling little prickle
might lead to nought, for insight’s fickle,
and sometimes things are just so small
that they aren’t there at all.

 

This poem was written in October of 2016. The RDP2 prompt today is insight.

The Betrayal

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The Betrayal

There is a story hidden
In the majolica mug
that sits on the
terraza table.

Pasiano the gardener
drinks 
echinacea tea
with honey

from this cup,

coughs loudly
behind the hand

that does not cradle
a telephone.

His sly smile
betrays a love story

as clearly as the small child
who sometimes
accompanies him to work.

Some senora’s, he tells me,
but the child has
his eyes and solid legs,
his shy manner,

lives with his mother
and her husband,
but sits on my steps
with a sugar cookie––

betraying
no more secrets

on purpose
than his father does.

 

This is a rewrite of a poem written 5 years ago. The prompt word today is betrayed.

Wallpaper

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Wallpaper

Clinging to the wall
like an old wallpaper scrap
are the words
I want you, I want you, I want you, I want you.

Their refrain slides up and down
the musical scale—
an old country tune,
plaintive and clear.

Why do I want you?

The first time I met you,
there was something about the curl of your hair.
Your eyes, so familiar­—puzzled, as though
you, too, were trying to remember.

After that, it was
the set of your shoulders—
the arm stretched between your seat and mine
with your hand on the back of my seat.

All of your restraint an aphrodesiac.

The truth is
that I pined
for two days after I left,
then went on with my life.

Still, that scrap
of wanting
comes up early in the morning
as I waken

and my mind walks,
looking for someone to pin it to,
and every time
it stops at you.

The prompt today is puzzled.

Double Betrayal

 

Double Betrayal

Her thoughts in parting were most candid,
her emotions, clearly branded
on her face. They reprimanded
him for how he cruelly stranded
her within their love affair—
how he left her standing there
alone, heartbroken, vulnerable.
How he’d burst her true love’s bubble.
Thus was her earlier promise broken
before a single word was spoken
when she met them, face to face,
engaged in intimate embrace—
that one who was to be her mister
with her faithless younger sister.

 

The prompt today is candid.

Torn Love

Torn Love

Still standing close,
each on our own side of this terrible rending,
how can we see things so differently?
This little flap of skin
you keep pulling open
wants to close.

This is how cancers start—
this worrying and worrying of an old injury.
My darling. Leave it alone
and let us heal.
This is only a biopsy
of our changed love affair.

If it is cut out of us,
it will be by your decision;
and no number of late-night arguments
will ever change that fact.
What you need to remember
the next morning,
you will remember.

If it were up to me,
we would still be friends,
but if you need an enemy
to console you in your actions,
I guess I must be that too.
I always was a figment
of your imagination.
Believe that
if it makes this easier for you.

II

Cicatrix

I know better than you
what lies buried under
my healed-over self.

The raised part of me
grown to protect the wound
creates this distance
that I once warned you of.

I need to thicken that part of me
where part of you remains,
and if for this time you gasp for air,
it is my thick skin growing over you,
like an orb spider winding you in my web

until you become
the one in me hidden so deep
that even you
believe you’ve disappeared.

 

Yes, another reprint of a poem from over four years ago. The prompt today was torn.