True Love

Your sickness made me
a little sick, it's
true—I still
feel it
     Mayakovsky got down
          on his knees
     and declared
               his love
to his last 
        a few hours after
           he'd met her
Remember me 
at the hotel
            in Paris,
         on my knees
            in the lift?
We're all the same
men of too much passion
and a little talent—
    some a little more
                  than others
    We fool ourselves
       into thinking
                  we're strong
           then complain
      the rest of our lives
          crippled by
            the consequences

This poem previously appeared in the New Yorker. Barry Gifford is the author of Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels and many other books. For further information please visit his website at