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We got it wrong…

we needed a humble love –

everyday love that could be

flaky at breakfast like toast –

frosty with feathers that flew

in last night’s fight, pout, smile –

reality-of-life love that worried about

investments, toddlers’ nosebleeds.


We needed whole wheat love

from the corner deli – the healthy kind –

that does not press painfully against the ribs

through nights when the moon is trickling

silver through lace…

or that shudders to breathe, and travels

blinding silence in its dying (only to find it still lives)…

love helplessly bleeding into kindnesses,

love of a frightening beauty, bottomless depths…

difficult, despairing, soft love that

has a terrible hardness of heart, and

eternal memory.


Ah, we needed window-frame love –

silently holding up blinds year after year,

an indoor fern – homely, comforting,

and just bored, occasionally, or often…

… that would have been nice.


We needed love that was real, not a reward.