Don’t be married unless you’ll be very married.

Marriage
BY LAWRENCE RAAB
Years later they find themselves talking
about chances, moments when their lives
might have swerved off
for the smallest reason.
What if
I hadn’t phoned, he says, that morning?
What if you’d been out,
as you were when I tried three times
the night before?
Then she tells him a secret.
She’d been there all evening, and she knew
he was the one calling, which was why
she hadn’t answered.
Because she felt—
because she was certain—her life would change
if she picked up the phone, said hello,
said, I was just thinking
of you.
I was afraid,
she tells him. And in the morning
I also knew it was you, but I just
answered the phone
the way anyone
answers a phone when it starts to ring,
not thinking you have a choice.

Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes.

Preface

Love is
when one plus one gives you two
and morphs back into one
complex
consecrated
comglomerate
that somehow subtracts one
and one more
and one more
and one more
without shrinking.
Eventually
there comes a moment
when forever only lasts the space of the
QRS complex on the monitor
and you ask yourself
how you decomposed
back to
one
when you feel as hollow as
zero.

May I kiss you on this miserable piece of paper?

Child, Child
by Sara Teasdale

Child, child, love while you can
The voice and the eyes and the soul of a man,
Never fear though it break your heart –
Out of the wound new joy will start;
Only love proudly and gladly and well
Though love be heaven or love be hell.

Child, child, love while you may,
For life is short as a happy day;
Never fear the thing you feel –
Only by love is life made real;
Love, for the deadly sins are seven,
Only through love will you enter heaven.

I was about half in love with her by the time we sat down.

Among the weeping willow trees, amid the fresh spring air
Alone and singing softly sat a maiden, sweet and fair.
The gentle breeze caressed her flowing hair of gold,
and all day there she stayed, singing songs of old.

Her angel eyes and beauty seemed from sky above,
But this meant nothing to her for she only cared for love.
Knights would come and knights would go but however hard she tried,
She could never seem to find the one for whom her heart would cry.

Early one summer morn, before her song did start,
She could the one she thought would heal her lonely broken heart.
A knight with waving plume of blue, he pledged to be forever true.
Before he left, he promised her, “I will return to you.”

And our fair maiden returned home, happy for one night,
determine to forever keep her handsome new-found knight.
In her bed, she dreamed of his kind and smiling face,
Thinking of all the reasons why she longed for his embrace.

Our girl had an older sister, sweet but twice as shy,
And she would hide her face when a man came walking by.
Unlike her sister in all ways except with one exception:
She too longed for love before beauty left her reflection.

Every dawn she waited, watched her golden sister leave.
But she know that in herself she must too believe.
For though her hair was darker and her eyes were not as bright,
She thought that if she waited, she would also find her knight.

And on, the golden sister left and on the darker waited.
But how could they have know about what was to be fated?
The golden one carried on unknowing for ignorance is bliss.
Then again, the darker one would ne’er have true love’s kiss.

The years passed and the darker grew so very drawn and old.
The golden found, however she tried, her lover’s heart grew cold.
And came the day when both were found in their same small room.
Lost hopes and dreams and love, their lives: one lonely doom.

Once young women, now both left to waste their lives away
But who can dare to guess which one did feel the worse that day?
Was it the golden girl who loved then had her heart ripped from her?
Or the darker one whose heart had never woken from its slumber?