I ran to love but hid from its embrace.
I looked at it instead through windows,
where love so deep took its place besides things
out of grasp, too expensive, too precious
too good. To want but never have was
perfection, to hold yet be restless, bet
nothing while everything rested in dreams
that replaced what we did with a stream of
desire till life crashed in. Glass spilled the day
I broke your heart, but the heart I crushed was
my own. It lives now behind glass with things
that never took place while the Furies’ buzz
kills forgiveness and fans faint embers of
loss. All I have is there, too precious,
too good, too gone, and I can’t remember
why or how. In a weak moment I
imagine a word that might bring us back
when a voice cries “No! Love is not selfish.”
Love claims and love lets go, one easy as
the other, remorseless, beyond joy or
pain with no thought to please—but only to
be. Behind the glass is nothing now but
empty space. No door, no window, no vent,
no way through or round but to feel the rain
of a thousand shards fall to the ground. I
try not to howl or jump when I am cut,
for cuts heal. And love lives like this: patching
over scars and new skin, sometimes clear and
others deformed but always relentless.
You cannot hide from love; love tells me this.
For love always tries again, not to get
it right, but just to love, again.
—New York, April 5, 2015
Notes and Credits
The opening photograph is taken from the NY Daily News piece, “Tilda Swinton sleeps in a glass box for surprise performance piece at Museum of Modern Art,” by Margaret Eby, March 23, 2013. No photographer was attributed. The piece is a strange play on celebrity that makes me thing of Goop. But it still seems a good photo for the poem, which puts the experience of love into museum boxes in order to dissociate from the pain while keeping the experience alive with false hopes. Writing the poem made me consider that love is not so sentimental as automatic. We bring sentiment to love that isn’t there and needn’t be there. Love will never be more than what it is. Never build a life around love, but around what you bring to love. And as for love itself, let it be what it is. My first love post was one of the early TRS posts; looking at it now it feels like life has changed so much. And love is here, again.