Love Defiled

Such blatant tragedy, the ease
of which love is misunderstood,
drifting apathetically from tongues
salivating pink with blasphemy
love–
the beauty of it
disrespected, defiled, redefined
by everything it will never be.
love–
mistaken for how far one
can slip an eager hand
past the hem of a skirt,
for the gasping flutter escaping
the quivering lips of a midnight
woman, the tender letters
of her name forgotten
far before the night ages.
love–
how carelessly it is spat
onto the winding roads of vice,
how these distorted versions
melt right through the fingers
of temporary, fleeting, stupid
puddle of expired thrills.
love–
now, a chess game played
by bloodthirsty pawns battling
for the throne
even if it means pulling hair,
snapping tendons,
lilac bruises from a hard man’s fist.

even if it winning means death.
love–
tarnished by its inability to believe
in any virtue of sacrifice.

love–
is sacrifice.
love–
how he drives slowly,
running late, but slowly anyway,
because I am in the passenger seat
dreaming out loud
about everything
and nothing.
love–
scarlet eyes and body tremors
I tell him my soul is gray
and dull
and ordinary
and he brushes the fallen strands
of hair from my eyes
and cries,
himself,
because in them, he only sees
miraculous.
love–
the way he kisses the ridges
of my shoulders like resting
hummingbirds,
my father gazing giddily
at my mother
after thirty years of marriage,
how they dance in the kitchen
in those moments when
the whole frozen world belongs to them
but I always see.

I see it everywhere.
Everywhere the world
has grown tired
of looking.

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