Feb 11 2018

This is not a Love Poem (II)

I love love as much as anyone, but it’s not a hearts and flowers and chocolates emotion. It’s peels. It’s peels from a tangerine that makes your pocket sticky long after you’ve eaten the fruit:

Paradise of Fools

Rob puts the peels from his tangerine in my pocket. That day he’d just come from delivering a colt.  We met by a dried-out riverbed and walked it until we found water. Three months pregnant, I felt safe from his charms.

A lone water lily in a wash of pond stops us. He puts his arms around me from behind like he did when we were eighteen and stood at the end of Huntington Pier. I lean into him and a killdeer screeches. I think, “I should be impervious.” I am twenty-eight and married, but not to Rob.

I avoid the still blue slough of his eyes. I talk about why I’m in California, the Milton conference, the paper about Eve and the serpent. How Eve fell for the serpent’s flattery after he licked her shadow. Adam’s uxoriousness the real reason for the punishment since every god hates a cuckold.

I am married, I am pregnant, but I am not happy.  I leave Rob amid cottonwood and cacti. And I end all contact with him, even though I’m pretty sure I loved him for a long time after. It takes 5 years of eating slivers of glass and rock before I finally leave my husband.

That last day with Rob, hours later, I reached into my pocket and found the tangerine peels he’d placed there. Scraps of light shed from a too-bright star.

Originally published in Leaf by Leaf

This year’s love poem offering “Blizzard in Berlin” is up on Poetry Crush’s 2016 Valentine’s issue, Vol. 2


19 Responses to This is not a Love Poem (II)
  1. H. Harmon says:

    The ABC’S of Love
    Zzz, my head resting on his chest
    Young lovers laying down to rest,
    X’s out of sight, out of mind
    We’ve left both of our pasts behind.

    Vail draped upon my face
    Underneath skin touching lace,
    Today your home and tomorrow your gone
    Sun shinning, returning at dawn.

    Rhinestones from an exotic dancer
    Questions you won’t answer,
    Pleading with you not to leave
    On the floor, step over me while I grieve.

    No more secrets left to keep
    My scars no longer skin deep,
    Lies and promises, held within your phone
    Killing me is this man whose become unknown.

    Jumbled in your lies you slip
    I’m tired of drowning on this sinking ship,
    He thought they were free from me
    Going to bury both of them under a tree.

    For a gluttonous greed
    Enough is enough. He’s about to see where cheating can lead,
    Dig, dig, dig a hole
    Click, times up, you should’ve had self control.

    Bodies. Bones in a casket
    Alone. Who? Not me. I was your best asset.

  2. K.Green says:

    Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare

    My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
    Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
    If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
    If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
    I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
    but no such roses I see in her cheeks,
    and in some perfumes there is more delight
    Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
    I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
    That music hath a far more pleasing sound.
    I grant I never saw a goddess go;
    My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
    and yet by heaven I think my love as rare
    as any she belied with false compare.

  3. C.Schaarschmidt says:

    I hate you today
    I’ll hate you tomorrow
    You reap what you sow
    I have no more sorrow

    You’ll bore of your wife
    Like King Henry the 8th
    You stuck her for life
    Unless her head you plan to take

    Have a great day
    Ill send her my ring
    Your heart’s made out of clay
    At least I can sing

    So drink your cold sprite
    And go ride your bike
    My future’s more bright
    With you out of site

  4. jdelatorre says:

    Marriage is for life, not just the Wedding Day – by Denise Jones

    Girls, you have to work hard at being wed

    It’s not just about what you do in bed!

    You have to compromise in this life
From wife to husband and husband to wife

    He isn’t perfect (they never are!)

    He’ll cherish you less than he does his new car

    He won’t do the dishes or pick up his smalls

    He’ll belch and fart and scratch his balls

    He won’t give you flowers or take you out

    Still drinks with his mates, what’s that all about?
    But don’t constantly shout, give him a break

    Just go with the flow, you must give and take

Cause you’re no saint either, just remember that
You won’t change the wheel when the tyre’s flat
’I’ve just done my nails’, he’ll hear you sigh

    Then you’ll render him speechless with a little cry

    And girls when you argue, fight and scrap

    Just remember why you married your lovely chap

    Your knees still go weak when he cracks a smile
He’s your Mr Wonderful, wins hands down by a mile!

    So remember to always have a laugh together

    To face challenges head on whatever the weather

    Talk and talk and talk some more

    Make home your sanctuary, behind that front door

    For forty long years I’ve now been wed

    But I wouldn’t change a thing it has to be said

    There’s been pain and heartache, dark moments and all
But we’ve come through it together and we’re still having a ball! 

  5. A. Valles says:

    “Forgive and Forget”

    Is the memory of you good, or bad?

    The fleeting recognition of your touch- positive, or altogether negative?

    Can anything coming from you not cause me to hate myself for accepting it?

    If I think of you from time to time, will that send me spiraling into nothingness?

    Are remembered kisses and carresses my damnation?

    Dreams filled with you, reason enough to drive me mad?

    What is it about you that a simple memory can tear my whole world apart?

    With all that has transpired between us, is it possible to forgive but never forget?

  6. K Edgington says:

    like childhood memories–
    Always forgotten!

  7. C Krohn says:

    days are meaningless
    hours are numbers
    the amount of affection i hold for you
    is space, not time
    my love is the moon and the stars
    shining and reflecting
    not a day crossed off on the calendar
    with a fifty cent pen

  8. M. Martinez says:

    The Sorrow of True Love
    Edward Thomas 1878-1917

    The sorrow of true love is a great sorrow
    And true love parting blackens a bright morrow:
    Yet almost they equal joys, since their despair
    Is but hope blinded by its tears, and clear
    Above the storm the heavens wait to be seen.
    But greater sorrow from less love has been
    That can mistake lack of despair for hope
    And knows not tempest and the perfect scope
    Of summer, but a frozen drizzle perpetual
    Of drops that from remorse and pity fall
    And cannot ever shine in the sun or thaw,
    Removed eternally from the sun’s law.

  9. A. Guerrero says:

    Self-Help by Michael Ryan

    What kind of delusion are you under?
    The life he hid just knocked you flat.
    You see the lightning but not the thunder.

    What God hath joined let no man put asunder.
    Did God know you’d marry a rat?
    What kind of delusion are you under?

    His online persona simply stunned her
    as it did you when you started to chat.
    You see the lightning but not the thunder.

    To the victors go the plunder:
    you should crown them with a baseball bat.
    What kind of delusion are you under?

    The kind that causes blunder after blunder.
    Is there any other kind than that?
    You see the lightning but not the thunder,

    and for one second the world’s a wonder.
    Just keep it thrilling under your hat.
    What kind of delusion are you under?
    You see the lightning but not the thunder.

  10. A. Berber says:

    You bring a smile to my face
    You set my heart at such a pace
    Oh what a wonderful feeling
    It feels like I’m dreaming
    Please be with me
    I know we’re meant to be
    We’ve been through so much
    You have the sweetest touch
    My love for you is eternal
    And it just can’t be kept internal
    Your love is like to other
    For you are my one true lover

  11. V. Amezquita says:

    Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
    Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
    I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
    I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
    The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
    And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
    But last year’s bitter loving must remain
    Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
    There are a hundred places where I fear
    To go,—so with his memory they brim.
    And entering with relief some quiet place
    Where never fell his foot or shone his face
    I say, “There is no memory of him here!”
    And so stand stricken, so remembering him.

  12. M Maitoza says:

    Against Love Poems- Pamela Wagner

    Love is, if only, a word
    twisted, double-tongued,
    bladed to cut more than it cleaves,
    an avowal of falsity and pomp,
    of circumstance always changing,
    like lies, rotting fruit,
    an overblown cabbage rose.

  13. T. Wilkes says:

    Saint or Sinner
    Patrick Winstanley

    Is Saint Valentine
    The saint of lost causes,
    Romantic gestures,
    Embarrassing pauses?

    Or is he the saint
    Of sinister stalkers,
    Whose valentines cards
    Bear single entendres?

    Seduction, stalking,
    They’re two sides of a coin.
    The proper riposte,
    A swift knee to the groin.

  14. k padilla says:

    Valentine’s Day is a joke,
    It fills most of us with false hope,
    A hug and a kiss,
    Some overpriced gifts,
    The next day we’re lonely and broke.

  15. E. Maravilla says:

    You paid how much for those?
    Because she said she loves the red rose?
    Don’t you know we’re on a budget?
    This is a marketing ploy
    and you fell for it
    like an idiot boy!
    Now she has to figure out how,
    How is she going to drive and
    not let them fall down.
    Have you ever driven while holding a vase full of flowers in your car?
    Overpriced roses that wont last till..
    Shit, is that a cop?
    Yes, thanks officer.
    She walks in the door,
    puts her purse on the floor,
    smiles and says Thank you my Love.

  16. k garcilazo says:

    K. Garcilazo

    Falling on my knees once, twice and all too many times.
    Like a race against time.
    Like a race upon gripping sand.
    Like a race against the glorifying currents of your waters.
    Heavy burdens have kept me in a constant state.
    A place where you and I paint this great divine.
    A great divine we proceed as love for you and I.
    Yet we know it’s not you or I.
    For my love to myself will forever live to be my great divine.

  17. D. Garcia says:

    I hate the way you talk to me,

    and the way you cut your hair.

    I hate the way you drive my car,

    I hate it when you stare.

    I hate your big dumb combat boots

    and the way you read my mind.

    I hate you so much it makes me sick,

    it even makes me rhyme.

    I hate the way you’re always right,

    I hate it when you lie.

    I hate it when you make me laugh,

    even worse when you make me cry.

    I hate it when you’re not around,

    and the fact that you didn’t call.

    But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you,

    not even close…

    not even a little bit…

    not even at all.

  18. NNguyen says:

    Have you actually ever thought about Valentine’s day?
    I mean, actually thought about it: the actions behind it and the things people say.
    It’s almost pathetic if you ask me.
    Just like this poem’s rhyme scheme: A, A, B, B, you see?

    Everyone should be saying “Happy Single Awareness” day!
    We need to embrace other single individuals, literally. Right now. In the fray.
    I’m getting really tired of trying to make this rhyme scheme work…
    So I guess I’ll end it here with the word of the day: twerk.

  19. dolivas says:

    love it when you look at me
    I love it when you stare

    It a sense of happiness
    love is in the air

    Why can’t I control this feeling
    we can’t be doing this
    behind their backs
    always creeping

    its our wrong doing
    day after day
    the love is growing

    I will always love you
    that is why I can no longer see you

    we have our partners
    we must be true
    my forbidden love
    I must leave you

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