A GHAZAL FOR VALENTINE’S DAY
When you pretend you’re not but know you are,
you suffer worse than if you just confess you are in love.
The rain falls right through your umbrella and the sun
and moon deny the whole cold day and night they are in love.
All winter blinding white flakes rise up into the sky.
You start to think the shutters and the windows are in love.
The wheel and the road, the wrench and the bolt,
made for each other, hurt, but they are not in love.
That sometimes she frightens you with her clarity
or angers you with her reserve are proof you are in love.
It’s one thing to dissemble in the fiercest heat of ardor
but better to play dead than pretend you are in love.
Underground, earth and ice, igneous rock and lava
long ago accepted that the past and future are in love.
Play spout to the water, act a chimney to the smoke
and admit once and for all to everyone you are in love.
Come on, Richard, what’s so hard for you to understand?
That yours is the confusion men experience in love?