From The Daily Couplet:
Two Ideas of Love
She says “I love you!” and he feels majestic.
He says “I love you!” and she gets domestic.
False friendship is an empty shopping cart.
True friendship is what blood is to the heart.
Today’s two things—the youngest you will be,
And the oldest moment in your history.
To those who make Democracy a hell:
Freedom is not something you buy or sell.
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You’re someone I can share fears, shop-talk, doubt,
And joy with—till my vocal cords give out.
Something will always fill an empty cup.
Each time you start the car, the road shows up.
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I laugh when you say you despise flirtation—
You say “I love you!” like it’s punctuation.
I use my love as a defensive measure
To wound myself before I can feel pleasure.
Opposites will attract, like soft to raw.
But similars all marry flaw to flaw.
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Your eyes are like two straws into your soul;
Let my eyes be the lips that drink you whole.
Planted and plucked up, with no hope of pardon:
Every life is a flower in death’s garden.
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Our souls were once so perfectly attuned.
Now we can’t feel a thing that doesn’t wound.
Blame is a lynch mob looking for a tree;
Forgiveness cuts it down and sets you free.
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If we were still in touch, I’d tell you this:
Each time you spoke my name, it was a kiss.
Anger dive bombs the guiltless in a flash;
Forgiveness parachutes you from the crash.
My heart knows when love looms ahead, the way
A blind man smells the night replace the day.
“I’m jumping ship!” I cry, and down I drop—
And then get pissed off when the boat won’t stop.
Friends are like bank accounts—never invest
In those who fail to show you interest.
When am I most myself, if not when I
Create something that—unlike me—won’t die?
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You can’t be why I stay, though we both yearn;
But you might be the reason I return.
God’s silence is a book that I will read
And translate with the alphabet of need.
Once Truth was honest and went undefeated;
Now it’s a lie that’s constantly repeated.
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You love to count the hearts that felt love for you.
What really counts: how many still adore you.
God watches us love, suffer, and forgive
Like we’re all starring on One Life To Live.
If I had known I’d live to be this old,
My younger self would have been way more bold.
I feel God’s absence stretch in all directions
Like an unholy map of missed connections.
A good life has no greater dividends
Than the appreciation of great friends.
Let all my future travels be a toast
To all the kindred souls I’ll miss the most.
Our past is not just dead, it’s changed position—
And, like us, altered beyond recognition.
Two demons battle in me while I live:
The urge to curse; the challenge to forgive.
What molting is to birds from pole to pole,
Adversity is to the human soul.
The heart will feel a wound, much deeper than the flesh’ll—
The goodbye hurts because the hello was so special.
Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells