La Petit Mort

February 4, 2008
By Naomi Taub, Asheville, NC

Love has no place in poetry.
How vain, to think that we could touch the flame
and trap it in our grasp.
How futile to place it in a prison of punctuation
when love will only mutate and escape.
And standing on the edge of a chasm
we look down and can not see the bottom of that
endless, unfathomable darkness.
And yet we jump, time and again,
and I am not so proud to think
that I could explain why.
I know only that we will continue to jump forever.
Love is the ghost that leaves us open and alone
naked in the desert.
And when we awake amidst the fire
we find that it has gone.
It is the feel of lips on the forehead
that almost soothes the pain for a moment.
At least until you open your eyes.
And if I kept them closed forever
perhaps it would remain
and I would capture love, pin it down
in a dream.
That’s not an option.
Open our eyes are and open they shall remain.
Blindness would be too easy, no,
love likes us to watch in agony
as it walks away.
The most beautiful terrible thing, love.
And who the hell are we to speak its name?
It defies our most desperate logic.
It keeps you warm in the night and leaves you cold in the morning.
And still you must get out of bed
to seek it once more.
And what more could one hope to say
with their last breath than:
I drank the poison, and here I remain.
I loved and lost and lived.

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