I no longer know what this is;
I have named it too often.
Is this love, hope, delusion?
I submit I do not know.
Ask me to describe this to you;
I will beg for time–and patience.
Do you know more than I?
Instruct me on what I lack.
Show me the things I do not know;
Make me to understand them.
Is there hope for one lost?
Between us, surely you know.
You were recently born into this–
Untainted by lessons I have learned.
Or will your youth be our end?
Naivete, too, begets tragic catharsis.
Some day, this curtain will fall;
Pity and fear will pass away.
Is purgation too hopeful?
Then I will know what this is.
Does he now open himself,
The unbeaten swordsman
Who turned aside all past blades
And pierced opponents’ hearts?
Does he reach too far in the lunge,
Advancing on the empty fade,
Only to find the tip sharper
Than any point he had ever used?
At last, a worthy match was found,
But perhaps the new duelist
Is too familiar with the usual tact
And has perfected her defenses.
But submission here will not serve,
For it is the same defeat and death,
Whereas victory now need not require
The usual sacrifice–hers or mine.
So he stands, pointe à la terre,
Awaiting in impatient vulnerability
Her decision–to be or not to be–
For a newly redeemable heart.
Falling in love too easily, too quickly,
Is the curse I live under. ‘Tis a pithy
Love of mine that cannot seem to wait
For lover unknown to unlatch the gate.
I walk through, unbidden, unasked for,
Yet unhindered. Perhaps there is more,
So far unfelt; I will allow myself to hope
I have caught some meaning ‘neath the show.
There is time yet for our script to be rewritten
To pair this girl with boy who is far beyond smitten
By she whom all other leading ladies must surpass;
How lucky for us she was so perfectly and lately cast!
What else for me to do but to cast over all lines,
Angling for all my worth for only a little more time
In which we might better learn each other’s part?
Study my role, and I yours, ’til we know them by heart.
Hum with me a familiar, unplayed melody
And cause me to question how can it be
That I have not known you all my life
Who sings with me this music of the night.
If you’ll beat the rhythm with drumming fingertips,
I’ll pluck out the tune with a hand on your hip;
We’ll play ourselves an eternal song to dance through,
And only after it ends will you know how much I love you.
Why is it that at my most depressed,
At my greatest feelings of loneliness,
All I want to be is
Why, when I most need advice, help,
When I utterly despair of my own devices,
The only one I trust is
I suppose experience has shown me
On whom I can rely at any and all times,
When I cannot allow for
In the end, with enough time, thought,
I believe the answers I must find
I’ll find by turning
Not nearly often enough do I remember
Another option that should be primary:
Truly, I need only look
I walk the world asleep these days.
Wandering aimless about my work,
Listing from one senseless moment to the next
Until it is time to lie down to wait for dawn.
When daybreak comes, I take my daily anesthetic
And forget how to feel the world around me.
I cannot let the outside in; it might prove too much.
I can only focus on so much pain in each moment.
The hurting is the only thing I feel today,
And even that might prove overmuch
For my already weakened state
From tiredness and ever-longing for you.
We say Some Day and it relieves the pain–
Temporarily. Until I remember that Some Day
Was once Yesterday, or Last Month,
And now even Next Month is uncertain.
When will Some Day be Today, oh love?
To ask you is unjust, for we neither of us know
What tomorrow holds, or what holds the year–
The year with all its empty promises.
So I choose pain over apathy as a last resort
For I need to feel something when I say “love”.
Pain is a reminder of what I do not have–
Temporarily–until we reach Some Day.
Wait, you don’t have to go right now.
I know there is no bliss between us,
But we aren’t all that miserable, either.
You may as well rest here awhile.
These others, the ones that bring with them
Happiness, sadness, anger, and pride,
They come and they go as they please.
I issue commands, but they will not listen.
Forgive me, I don’t remember what to call you.
Melancholia? You recoil at its implications.
Pensivity? No, the name is too bright for you.
Nay, I cannot recall, though we know each other well.
You are vacuous, the void, a hollow, blank.
I can see you reflected in my eyes,
Your fingers gently cradle my heart,
Your silence reverberates through my mind.
But stay, for a trusty shield you’ve been to me
Against all that is extraneous to myself–
What might wound and pierce the heart.
Thou, imperfect temperament, but my dear friend.