Ode to Love
Fingers slip between cotton sheet and skin,
calling to mind the memory of one
who was loved with high intensity; him
have I felt in the heat of another’s tongue—
breath on my temple; and never a touch
to set my chest humming, call up need,
hunger, like air one can’t take in; too much
of what is desired, and we are undone—
no possible alternative; take heed:
love can produce a bitter aftertaste,
shock the senses like a sting unprovoked;
hold it with ginger fingers, its honeyed
flow may burn through thick skin, a wild fire stoked
by precocious want—greed, to own the prize:
one’s youth; one’s price goes up and down by days;
night brings new intrigues for the heart to seek,
sweet games to play, to fashion the soul’s rise,
a crescendo prancing to a beat…Nay!—
a symphony of strong bending meek.
Yet, we return with each new moon, so bold
in our reserve, beaten but unwilling
to end the dance, as young as sin, as old
as pleasure, a bloody tango chilling
meat to bone, keeping us feverish
and alive; animal energy becomes
synergistic currency, to barter
with, give, take, pry from dying hands, and wish
for; there is none who can leave us alone
more so than we, and none push us farther.

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