Terse Protestations About Love

–A poem by H.L. Hix

 

Last frost past, I planted want

among the pitchpeas and crested squash

and Tentativity beets.  I wanted what

the heavens forbade, because they forbade it.

I bore the bucket back and forth,

despite my sense that thirst

tested me most, not this obstinate seedwaste.

2

How could I not wish now

that she had loved me then

a little more, a little less?

I could have imagined the worst

had I understood better.

Of what use is one love unless

to anticipate a next?

3

Here.  Hold to your ear this that I have held to mine.

Expect nothing.  Except you hear a sea.

4

Why not name it creosote instead,

or chrysalis or incarnadine?

Think what declarations might follow,

what pledges prove possible.

I am cinders and whiplash.

Braced against what gust soever,

I assent to any season you assert.

Bless you, blood-red bird dead in snow.

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