memorial for a brilliant woman

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A belated Valentine poem

To whom it may concern:

All my Valentines are lost in the mail
or returned unopened, unexamined,
like poems sent to the New Yorker,
not substantive enough to provoke.

What billet doux would you embrace,
consider? Not certain I want anyone
to know my tenuous intent, as it is
encoded in derisory, obfuscated goo.

Write this down, it will be on the test:
to yearn is to contrive, connive.
Concupiscence a natural state,
confess your heart’s desire and live

or fall in sin, untested. Grace is
prevenient. I wear the stripes
of awkward hope, yet call you
out with these imprudent lines.