Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


When Love

when love floods a person
            it cuts
a canyon

that deepens year after year
            carrying silt
away leaving

the essential person
            revealed
letting everyone see

the layers of yellow
            sandstone, red basalt
grey granite

when love washes over a person
                        it washes
the person away

Credit


Copyright © 2021 by Alicia Ostriker. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 5, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


“I have been fascinated for a long time with the parallels between geology and the human personality. Like the earth, we have layers deposited by our experiences. Sometimes we explode like a volcano, and sometimes our experiences can be washed away by strong emotion, leaving something more basic behind. Often I have wanted to feel my ego being washed away by love.”
Alicia Ostriker

Author


Alicia Ostriker

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1937, Alicia Ostriker has been a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. She currently serves as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Date Published: 2021-04-05

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/when-love