NOR AM I LOVING YOU

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Socrates said all poems should praise

The truly heroic. But the gods these days

Are less optimistic, and the muses

Display in their poems the poem that loses

Its way. Who fathers, in their own mind,

The poem of the father, is finally unkind.

The extravagant and bombastic,

The obscure, which they say is fantastic,

But which I have yet to read—

Because I’m so distracted by the simple need

To prove to myself what I want

Is fated, and meant to be,

Simply because at one time you loved me—

These bombastic obscurities make poetry wretched,

And so I keep returning to what I want:

The desire of desire to desire the desire of you;

To be genuinely loved intimately and kindly

By one person, for eternity,

And did you know that you are that person?

All the people in China will have to wait.

The article of clothing. The room inside the gate.

The hill. The grocery store. The bay.

Here’s the poem. You know the way.

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