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The Six Word Memoirs of Love1.
When you walked in the room,
my whole body became a heartbeat.
Shirts fell like shades from windows.
Your red color poured over me.
Love was serif font, entwined tongues.
The way the seasons filed by,
strung on twine like Chinese lanterns;
my mind like an ocean rising,
filling hollows in your glacier flesh
my salt diluted with your water.
Afraid I would never love right.
How many – how many times had
I said it: I love you.
For you, love was an autoclave:
sterile, mechanical, falling asleep during sex.
It was spaghetti sauce from jars,
a painful tuxedo, a should-would clause.
You left lists under the pillow,
poems about someone else’s sculptured palms,
lust you had already given away.
Shopping list of people not me.
Love became goodwill’s doorstep; it was
chasing you doorstep to doorstep, begging.
Me, hanging from the yew tree:
clinging to a love that would
rather murder, rather snap, rather not
have grown at all. How I
forgave you. How I groveled like
a woman. And you thought brothel
was the Finnish word for love.