Love Poem Number 2


Make me whole or cut me up more artful. I want to be
the thing I see in the mirror.
There are no martyrs here, only masochists.
I want your fist bleeding my conclusion.
The cycle of pain, choreographed by the compulsory victims.
The broken partake in longing, feeding the phantoms.
I was raised in a community of screaming women.
My lovers never understand.

Dead clocks tick backward. The shadows of words are dull,
but familiar.
We pick from the choices. Here, where language has no purpose,
we stand, petrified to blink.
The world is large and dangerous. Nothing
is what it says.
My name on your tongue, not last week's pronunciation,
that is mutilation.
And this:
a seed in my seedless watermelon.

She wants to know what I am. Good luck
like a four-leaf clover.
What will your one wish grant you?
Seedless watermelon or Lavinia whole?
So, you are selfless like Kwan, climbing
a waterless fountain. I don't possess that kindness.
My wish:
To be leashed by you,
to be led by you,
to that place
where we both
forget my name.

They all go up in smoke
like a handful of Houdinis.

Jennifer Miller is slowly completing a B.A. in English Literature and Women's Studies at a university in New Jersey.

These five poems are part of a series of nine "love poems" that explore ideas of identity and identification through the concept of love.



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