why I don’t write love poems

by Adam Messer

because on the mornings we wake up together I’m already spinning

like the start of a twister in late May. I get busy, and twenty-three pages into a botany

manual, already the roots begin to overflow. If I send hibiscus, if I send iris,

if I send vinca – I can try every hue and color but they’re

varying shades, all varying shades of reds and scarlets and

passion and maroons because this is what you do to me. Unavailing,

I digress to watercolors because at least they’re real like redwoods, dotting

myself with an opening to tell you what hums quietly inside, two inches

past the lungs. Significant shades of low-branch green and Pacific blue

press themselves to walls to doorframes to the windows stretched miles down

the coastline. At such spread the same colors seem more like prose

than an element, so we’re back to the start, and I mean it when I say endlessly.

Suddenly the world seems to exist in only headers and subtitles

because body text doesn’t provide the feeling and body text is reserved

to fill the spaces between your hands and mine, thighs and mine, your world and mine.

Titles are for the main ideas, but I think three “you”s and two “your”s are enough

to get the point across instead. I toil workshop and revise ‘til my eyes

must see if my hands are alive; by that point I’ve taken out everything

but your name, because you’re still the only thing I’ve got right.

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