LOVE’S AN ABSTRACT LIE
Love’s an abstract lie
when it never touches anything,
when it’s a light that never opens anything
when there’s no oxygen in what it breathes
though it fires up like an inert gas
missing all the l’s in the signs above
the Taj Mahal motels,
when there’s no braille or lightning or dice
in its fingertips to read the constellations
tatooed on your skin like the lost gospels
of the gnostic fireflies.
Love’s a hungry ghost
clinging to a blade of grass in the dawn
that returns it to the dead letter bin of the grave
like an afterlife that’s doomed to live on nothing
when the six senses stand by the doorway
of the excruciating mystery
with their hats in their hands
like hosts lacking bread and guests for a feast.
Love’s the erosive life of water
that’s never been turned into wine
when it’s only a mirage at your lips
a wishing well on the moon
that’s never been raised like a goblet
to anyone’s lips
as if they were about to drink
at the last supper in an upper room
long and hard out of their own skull
until heaven and hell were full to overflowing
in every drop of being that went down.
Love’s a rain that’s never tasted flowers
a fountain mouth full of drowned bees
a sea without wind waves or weather
when love runs aground
like the moon on its own coral
and its chronic longing isn’t enough of a tide
to lift it off
and polyp by polyp it dies
like an empty lifeboat
that never braved anyone to get in.
Love’s only ever a one-winged sunset
disappearing into its own afterglow
like a homing crow
gone, gone, gone, altogether gone beyond
to the nether side of here
like a star perpetually at nadir
when there’s no dawn
to feather the morning with light and birdsong
caught in the curtains of gratified desire
after spending all night mending chimneys with fire.
Love douses the torches it lit
to go looking for you down by the river.
Love would rather extinguish all those stars in its eyes
that danced like fire on the water awhile
like lightning and fireflies
then let the abstract purity
of the unseeking mirror
blow them out
to see better in the dark that it’s alone.
Love scars its skin like hieroglyphics on the moon
without ever having been wounded
or mended by an atmosphere
that could heal the wind
its mountains tore open like loveletters
to see if they knew how to bleed
like silver from the urn of the ore
or if they just paid lip-service
to the inkwell of another uninpsired eclipse.
Love isn’t a sure-footed mountain-goat
righteously walking the high paths
in a penitential hair shirt
without balls and horns.
Love isn’t a moon without thorns.
Love avalanches down into its own valleys
to wipe out the road between the mountain and the river
so it can follow its own lifeline to the life-giving delta
where the deserts can greet the sea
like lighthouses seagulls and ships
without heeding their own warnings to stay clear,
without being mapped like another crack in the mirror
of a one-eyed telescope in the hands of a blind-sided seer
trying to keep the night from getting in.
The orchid of sex might bloom
in the shadow of an outhouse,
nirvana in samsara
salvation through sin
the cure in the heart of the disease,
and the night lily of enlightenment
array its radiance in a swamp,
but love knows so much more
than flesh and thought
what the bodymind is
it doesn’t sever the root from the flower,
it doesn’t elevate the one
and diminish the other
as the higher and lower power.
Love expresses itself creatively.
Love is the changelessness of change.
Love isn’t the whore of eternity.
Love doesn’t turn the hour of the virgin out on the streets
to make a living between the sheets.
Love is all time.
Love is all space
like two eyes in the same face
but one seeing
of the singularity of the view
that knows one solitude
is closer to the truth than two.