Self-Deception


Woman, I am angry
With this love that rushed up like a leak
That trickled down on my head and washed me out of my milky dream.
You see, it was a basement pipe love
Not an inlet cove love, or a breathing stream love
On course for a sea swelling in my belly.
And I thought, I see the home of this love, taste it on my tongue;
And if I lay board-still, it will flood me up from this echoing place
Singing clean and alive.
So I kept on waiting, with all that concrete
Sailing, wave over red wave, in a crowded, lonely bed
For this moving, living, freeing drift of love.
But there was no love raging, or absolving-
Only the cautious plup, plup in a bucket all full of lovely words
That yielded without yielding
That fell like anchors
That strung up around my neck with diamonds and clasps
Like a moor for his lost ship, more like a house for a breeze.
So I am angry that I let myself pretend that I was floating up, on up
That they weren't solid words that stuck to my sinking ears
That ran at the dying eye, tears like those quiet ghosts for three years.
I am angry that I let myself listen to you, woman
Saying, Heaven's home is not built on the sea, girl
So you drink in that love, quick as you can
And don't ask of it anything more
You plant those three words in the dust of your noise
And when your cheeks are screaming behind that pretty, frozen smile
Keep on catching that love of steady drips that will never drown you.

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