Postmortem / Manifesto No. 17

(i)

it is difficult to write about love
when you both hunger for
and remove yourself from it.

all the flurried fancies
and enveloping bodies do not
offset your relief when you wake.

love is bland in your mouth
after a long time chewing:
you realize most flavours are artificial.

the porcelain image of love manifested
in the names of bones and stars and moons
has become strange and stupid –

you now know the acrid,
erosive nature of dreaming;
you have come to prefer searching –

to find meaning in existing words
rather than scavenge for new ones,
take long walks and revel in the existence of trees.

(ii)

Here is both
the most difficult and
the most important place to be –

you realize this after
chasing every wind that blows
and never really liking where you end up.

Here is where
you must be most singular
and most present.

(iii)

gently, kindly be a friend of yourself:
hold your own hands which need warmth,
read your unhappy poetry which craves empathy.

love yourself in plural:
no one else will do so
as well as you can.

(iv)

in love you are one whole aligned with another;
you are not one wing of a pair,
you are not half a story.

love does not set you free;
you have to make your own keys;
you must be free without love.

love is not medication.
love is neither an end
nor a means to an end.

love is a tree
and love is water,
love will be if you let it.

not prescription but reflection

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