Monday, September 26, 2011

Five Three-Sentence 'I Love You's'

At ten thousand feet above sea level, the night sky is 
palpable with starlight. If you stare long enough you 
begin to fall upward, levitating toward infinity.
I was lost for a moment in you being lost.

At last count there were more than twenty-nine thousand
things that might cripple our hope. Stalled economies
rarely take into account the desperate needs of lovers in
turmoil, politicians singularly unpoetic
Love is an unpredictable buffer against such angst.

I still seek symbols and omens in common experience. 
They are most often lacking and I wonder at my 
insistence on meaning. It could be that everywhere I 
looked, the only answer was you and I wasn’t listening.

The closing door is a distinct goodbye, effective as a 
period and not quite an exclamation point. You wouldn’t have 
heard because I whispered them—the words, I mean.
The ones you wanted to hear when you first opened the door. 

After all this time we still struggle with what it means to love.
It is difficult to accept that, at times, it may be only to endure.
This might then be the final measure of true love: The 
elderly lovers--hands grasped mutually, frail bodies 
bent at angles designed to keep one another upright.

--Martin A. Bartels (working draft)

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