The First Thing I Have Ever Written On the Inside of a Stall
Spring Poetry Contest - Top Ten Finalist
Love is always a true love
At least for a while. But it is never false.
It is not like a dog that dies
After eating a pound of chocolate,
But more like a mouse that patters
Behind the headboard at night,
Then one morning decides to try the rafters.
As the sun rises behind the mountains,
There is always someone there to watch it happen,
And another several construction workers
Below to mind the scaffolding.
Each morning, a public restroom
Is an experiment in negative space.
It may exist, but not truly be there
For anyone but the first person who comes in
And says I hate myself too many times
For it to come true. That is the problem
With truth: it is so often boring, and untrue.
People do not love each other unless they see themselves
In what they wish would bother them,
Like the faintly Canadian accent Virginians detect
In people from Maryland.
When something happens too often
To call it a mistake, we call it art.
Love is great art, and a big mistake.
It is an arc. The middle phase is miserable,
The end euphoric and that will go away as well.
What remains is a tidy black hole, a pause
That breathes life back into a phrase,
A plate caked with burnt hash
That shouldn’t need a cycle but will probably
Get one anyways. But it’s important to love that too
Because sometimes that’s all it takes.