Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Poem: "Love and Lawlessness"

Love and Lawlessness

But love is lawlesse, every wight doth know

          Isabella Whitney, “The lamentation of a Gentilwoman upon the death of her late deceased friend William Gruffith Gent


We know it, but we know it suddenly
as a tree knows itself in a lightning-storm.
We know it fearfully, so most of the time
we’d rather not know it but fill in the form,
bring our own bags for bagging the grocery,
tear up the number, find an easy rhyme.

We know it, but we know it secretly
as a vineyard knows itself in the dark.
We know it nightly, so most of the day
we don’t remember it but hear the dog bark
with a deep blue sound, fumble with the key,
novelize a western township in decay.

We know it, but we know it privately
as a tulip knows itself in a tulip bed.
We know it flashily, so most of the thaw
we open to the sun our hearts and heads.
We know it and we know it defiantly,
but two is the beginning of the law.

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