“The Lovers” of Kenyon College

I contort in dark and light, pervert spine
as we pervert delusions of true love
fed to us and younger lovers line
by line.  Create with me the image of
the pains that come, the bending that we do
for an increment of other’s touch.  Reprise
the role of man who can remain a true
participant.  Deny the loss.  Your eyes,
the inch of skin your fingertips provide
that I can’t see, your cold skin unfelt.  Sent
from casts a pair that refuse to ever slide—
suppose with me that it’s enough to want.

Please think of me and stay in your formed place
if in some haunting memories you see my face.


Artists with agendas make women with your shape,
they capture, distill, snare your blown hair
just out of reach from me but never them.  Wear
your garments tight around your curves, nape
exposed to those not posing, not looking to escape
like me, my shadow out of view.  Not given eyes to stare
at me, who also cannot look.  I have form; the air
I sense, the leaves falling on my false drape.

I know you well enough to need to run away—
this is the promise of emotions turned
to statue, cold and calculated art.
I know you well enough to want to stay.
I am not a lover spurned,
I am a lover made without a heart.


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