Posted on February 14, 2011 by


you know how speeches giving love
such oft-corrupted figures as doves,
roses, rays of sunshine make no clearer
the matter than a zipper binds two
ends of cloth in a closure you
can’t rip apart or leave undone in error?
imagine some well-intended maître d’,
ardent, introducing specials while we
slide our attention to satins the wearer
meant to hide behind not just poorly-
fastened trousers but also behind glories
of chef-appointed adjectives. a dearer
host serves the meal in our minds,
the way a reader’s favorites find
us years after they’ve died, or nearer
anyway an instance when we need sur-
prise than moment pen composed the meter.
our messenger emerges, here, bearer
of a secret harpoon dipped in honey,
whose canoe dares one rapid irony:
in a world of aims and art no fairer
example may be made than this cherub
who links two hearts–aye, there’s the rub!
in calling up that winged, famed spearer
have i entered into league with sloppy
symbolists who resort to standard copy
to tell their lovers no love’s rarer?
what i mean is cupid’s fusillades
thrown back and forth in love create
a mix combining interview with terror,
but also a kind of answered energy
like breakdancing’s uncertainty,
enspooled in conversation with the hearer.
what is a valentine’s heart
after all except a question mark
staring itself in the mirror?

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