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Your Poem

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Whoever your poem was written for
is very lucky to be her.
Wherever she is, your words,
(I’m sure) have made her feel
like light on the water.

If I were her, I would have read
your poem (to her) again and again
and my hands might have shaken
(if I were she)
and I might have wished
that I wasn’t me

because on Valentine’s Day,
at about this time,
I plastered my heart to a valentine
and gave it to a friend of yours and of mine
and he promised to keep it forever.

If I were your muse,
(which of course, I am not)
I would certainly be
in a very bad spot.
I would have to tell you
that I cannot
take my heart back to give it
to you.
It is his now, and his is mine,
(which is the purpose
of a valentine)
so if I were your muse and your poem were mine,
I might pretend that it was not.

And to keep you safe, and hurt you no more,
(if I were the girl it was written for)
I might act like nothing ever occurred,
I never read a single word,
nothing was said and nothing was heard,
(and in truth, the last was not)

Your words were sweet
and your rhymes were true
but they pale against
the poem that is you
and that poem was written
for some lucky girl
who will read and re-read it,
‘til the pages curl
or she’ll rip your page out
because it’s the one
and read it until light
goes out with the sun
or she’ll read it and read it until she goes blind
then she’ll think it again in the dark of her mind

And that’s your real poem.
And this one that your wrote
(for a girl who’s not me, as we already know)
will sleep sweetly forever in some crowded drawer
when you find the one your poem
was written for.




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