“i love you- though i speak it to another”

Well this is true,
as lips are blue—
on corpses at a funeral.
I love you—
though I speak it to another.

I bow and pray—
to lie upon your altar.
Collect my pride and sell me to your pastor.
I have nothing left inside to offer;
But for “I love you’s” and a tender kiss on cedar.

These words gather like ashes in the harbor;
Blown from holy smoke stacks across the oceans.
I love you in the blackened truth,
surrendered from the past we swore to others.

You smirk as I gather the courage to kneel here,
collecting crumbs that spilt from the baker’s apron.
Dirt is sweeter licked beside the sugar.
My tongue sweeps across your neck and shoulders.

I love you—
though I speak it to another.

As you know I need you more than ever,
you touch this hand to beg for my surrender.
I’m just some memory you pray not to remember.
White is pure when you are there to hold her.

String those peppers to hang on hooks.
Dry them in the window sill.
Wear that symbol—
and wash it in the river.

A rattlesnake skin tows its tail in a mason jar,
as though your bookshelf were some hidden trail;
in a Western film or lyrical truth for a spirited and graceful youth.
I plead you to believe this on your honor.

I love you—
though I speak it to another.

I love you—
is all I’ve left to offer.

I love you—
as your devoted ex-husband.

Call me if you ever consider me as another.
It could be fun pretending wine is water.

narrative poem written on 06-19-2009 by: on mattkane.com
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