“Whatever ‘in love’ means.”

“Whatever ‘in love’ means.”
Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer on their engagement.

I barely heard my lover close the door.
He crept from bed like many times before,
And went to buy a paper at the store
And chose some of the pastries I adore.
He ground the coffee beans and boiled the milk
Whilst in our bed I lay on sheets of silk.
I listened for his footfall on the stair
Still pretending that I was unaware
He had been outside on this rainy day,
To fetch the things placed on our breakfast tray.
I met my knight’s return with feigned surprise;
The intense gaze spoke volumes to my eyes.
My body yearned to pay my gallant’s fee
And so, we made love for an eternity.

I clearly heard my partner bang the door.
We’ve fought like this so many times before;
I sometimes wonder “what is left in store?”
Perhaps I’ll end up bleeding on the floor.
He hits the roof then hits me with his hand,
For reasons I can barely understand.
I hit him back for fear of looking weak;
He punches me until I do not speak.
Then he laughs; his eyes avoid my face.
He coldly shrugs aside my hot embrace
– Impulsive love has over-ruled my head.
I fear another row, so instead
I tell him go. He left with a violent bang
Unhinging our bedroom door from its jam.

I watched them take his coffin through the door.
I’ll need to watch his suffering no more.
I throw the incontinence pads in the drawer.
There’ll be no more pools urine on the floor.
I’ll never meet again those troubled eyes;
Or hear myself tell him untroubled lies –
Halting half-truths – both of us despised;
Or wipe away his tears silently cried.
For better or for worse – you say you will;
But is it worse to swallow the extra pill?
Or better stand and watch your lover’s pain
Knowing that the treatment won’t sustain
His life? Sickness became all you had to share;
Now sick with guilt, alone, you feel despair.

Which Love will you let in through your door?
Will that Love shake you to your very core?
Or will your love make you Love’s foolish whore?
Will you sell your soul for the one you adore?
Love’s choices make the wisest of us fools;
As fillies and poor donkeys make Love’s mules.
Forsworn Love swears oaths to Love again
Lovers’ oaths only beget Love’s children.
Blind Love leads you where you cannot see,
Love tortures you but never sets you free.
You’ll wager your self-respect on Love’s whim;
Whilst the sorrow of lost Love wont drown in gin.
Love takes your soul. Love’s torments break your heart.
But what poor fool from Love would ever part?

John Murphy, May Day, 2009

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