The Love Poem Unwritten


The poem he wished to write began this way:

    Is it come to this

    That I am reduced to writing love poems

    To you....

There he stopped.  A heavy onus

Of unresolved emotions

Seemed to gag him.

He wished to say:

How ironic it was that separation

Had revived their love,

How she still defined his existence

By absence, as she had once done

Through her presence;

How distance generated intimacy,

So that now they were in love again.

And how corny, how odd, how unusual that felt.

Like nothing they'd felt before,

In fact, almost like in the movies,

Their romance was beginning to dramatize itself.

Yes, this was the intoxication

Of not just being in love,

But of being in love with being in love.

He wanted to say:  I love you.

I love myself when I love you.

I love what you do to me.

I love what my love does to you.

When I think of us, there's a tremor

Not in my heart, but in the pit of my stomach,

It's a dull fire that spreads upwards,

From my loins.  It's a hormonal high

When I remember how we lie side by side,

Naked, and how we make love.

Unlike the past, now we don't even need foreplay.

We are so hot just being next to each other.

And we are so serene when we join,

We even talk and smile.

But as I push into you, in, in, in,

All words are stuck in the throat.

I feel myself dissolving into you,

My self sinking lower and lower,

To vanishing point.

By entering you, I give you back to yourself.

There you are, your face flushed, but calm.

And then there's neither you nor me,

But only a warmth, throbbing and vital,

Which says:  Love, love, love,

Or Om, Om, Om--just the primordial note.

We look at each other like this,

And an eternity passes away

As time forgets itself.


He wanted to say:

Now that we're apart once again,

I think, how strange it is to be in love

And to write about one's love,

To write poems to you,

Telling you how much I miss you,

How I am pining away,

And yet how delicious the pain is,

How exciting, inviting, welcome.

To reinvent language to say all this

To call back to oneself the sighs and tremors

Of love, to talk of your eyes and lips,

To celebrate your face, to get lost

In your fragrant tresses, to seek refuge

In the shade of your eyelashes, to praise

The softness and warmth of your touch,

To talk of the scent of your breath,

To remember your intimate gestures,

To cup your breasts in my hands

Like two panting doves,

To nestle my face between them,

And to remember all the noises you make,

And how you clown around, making faces,

And how we invent silly names for each other...

To talk about all this and much more.

In words, words, words, to project myself at you.

Then after this burst of verbal energy, fear:

To think that the person I am in love with

Is not you, but something that I have created myself,

An image of what I love.  To think that I have made

An idol of you which in my loneliness I adore.

And how such love fills me with both

Ecstasy and dread, lest you interrupt these effusions,

Breaking through the image, declaring

Your real self, shattering the mirror of dreams.

How all this fits in with the poetry reading

In which I read love poems to you,

Thus becoming a poet in love,

Wooing you with my poems,

Making public our passion,

And in the process, making you my dream, my love, my muse,

Always passive, the recipient of all this homage,

The silent deity to which the priest-poet

Lights his lamps, pouring out his devotion.

And so the recurrent fear:

It's so easy to love one's own creation,

But how difficult to love a real person.

O God, how scared I am of loving you.


He wanted to write all this,

But how awkward and unconvincing it sounded,

And a silent onus seemed to gag him.

He felt saddened at his inability to love.

He thought:  being in love is easy,

But to love someone so difficult.

He wondered if he could ever love,

If there was any hope for him,

If his heart heart would melt,

If he would be saved.

How important it was to find love:

It was the perfume of existence;

And life was arid without it.

He examined himself and his own life,

His compulsions to write,

To project things, to become something else,

To alter life, to change reality,

Always the drive, the ceaseless flow of words, words, words.

And now, the onus on his heart,

The inability to write, to express

His stirring love for his own wife,

The inability to force all this into words,

The fear of being found out as a liar,

The anxiety of being exposed and branded,

The dread of discovering his own changeability,

To find out, alas, that he couldn't, didn't,

Was unable to love, to love her.


At last he wrote:

    There are those who love;

    And there are others who only write poems.

    It is you who love;

    And I only write poems.

Did he then realize

The simple release of love

And the bitter doom of having to write only poems?


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  Copyright © 2005 - Makarand Paranjape