This is Not a Love Poem

The first love poem

Inscribed on a clay tablet

By Sumerians

Does not speak of

Candy hearts or kisses or

Perfumed nothings

That make your heart beat and your

Cheeks flush hotly red.

Love to them was

Something deeper than a

One night stand or

Promise that doesn’t last.

The truth is,

Love was newly discovered.

It was magic.

To be worshipped

To be revered.

Lovers had learned to control

The impalpable power they

Unleashed on hot nights

Under strange stars.

Love was something

That the first alphabet was created for

Simply to pay tribute to.

Romeo and Juliet came later.

Their love was a different kind.

Their love was rank with bad perfume

And cloyingly sweet kisses that leave

Your mouth aching for pure water.

So, this is not a love poem.

It’s impossible to recreate the

Passion or the meaning of the

First words of love scratched

Onto wet malleable clay.

I will not bore you

With clichéd mentions

Of lips like crushed velvet

And eyes like the morning sea

After a storm.

Because those words are empty.

I would tell you I love you,

But those words are devoid of meaning now too.

You see them everywhere,

On every prostitute’s lips and party balloon.

Love has become a slogan that can

Be bought with money and chocolate.

So this is not a love poem.

Too many of those have already been written.

I just want to you to know one thing:

I love you.


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