Blog of Love: Day Seven

February 14, 2016

When: a Love Poem                                                    

 

When

          at last

a man finds himself

in a poem

where he is both longing

          and longed for,

 

he sees his balding head;

it doesn’t glisten

the way it does

in the security video

          that shoots him in the back

with incriminating light,

 

nor does it laugh

along with his children

for whom time is not yet

something that eats them up;

 

neither is it cute

and endearing

and curled in its nest

 at the zoo –


          all these things

his balding scalp has been,

but never has he heard that skin

spoken of the way you might

of the wood on an antique desk

where a hand,

 

resting between letters,

moved in the small circles

the hand moves in as it thinks.

 

My balding head,

sometimes shaky fingers,

incrementally less durable cock,

the torn muscle in my gut

          that’s taking months to heal –

 

once I would have said forgive me

these, or love me through them

as if they needed what

we mean to each other

to become something someone could love.

 

 Not now.

 

Let us say the poem is not

what we feel

but what we have learned.

 

I give you the skin of my belly

where it is soft,

the weakness of my arms,

the fold below my chin,

the never smooth again

lines around my eyes,

I, who have taken

all this time.

 

*******

Richard Harrison is a nationally recognized poet, as well as an editor and essayist on a variety of topics, including hockey and superheroes. Buckrider Books will publish his newest poetry collection this fall.

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