by Judson Rose

I have loved too recklessly.
It is the way I can
relish a line of poetry, laud it like
a teenage girl in love, and have
missed that the rhymes aren't right.
The prose is deep purple.
This "poet" has no; idea
what a semicolon is
or when to break a line--and it
becomes readily apparent that
anyone, given a pen or keyboard
can write a pleasing line by accident.
Poets take that moment and make them
infinite. And, suddenly, that lovely
line means nothing anymore.

It is the way I drink liquor like
drunkenness is forever trying to escape me,
carrying in its arm some warm truth
that smells of vomit, only to wake up the
next day, my body thumping and melted from
proximity to the sun--and yet I still cannot
recall what it was like, if I was ever there.
I have never known the truth that
comes wrapped in a moment and
expires thereafter. I cannot believe in
books because they all have back covers,
and I have never seen your face not running
wet with hot tears that bear my name,
your lower lip trembling to the tempo
of our common sorrow. As I look at you now,
working my eyes over you like a shepherd, it
is already too late; we are all the prey of a
ravenous future. I cannot see that smile
anymore, and all of our lovely speech
comes out in that low gurgle of realization,
saying "Is it really over?"
All I've ever heard you say is
"Is it really over?"
and nothing I say sounds like anything
but a "Yes."

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