Love Is a Lie Unless You Say It in a Poem


Human language, in all of its iterations and forms, fails and triumphs in various ways. Love is a grand subject of both. For example, in English, you and I love things. I love music and you love poetry, but neither of us love our significant others like we love sunshine. We can love objects and concepts and people without worrying about specifically defining how much we like them. In Spanish, there are many specific ways to express your fondness of things, varying from if you like objects and concepts, to if you get along with someone and your love for them. We can communicate specifically how we feel about various parts of our world and have no fear of being misunderstood.

But, English fails because it’s so vague. It should seem obvious if someone loves you more than they love poetry, but it’s often not. If we don’t have clear context, we’re clueless as to how much others love us.

And Spanish is also at a loss, because if clear context is missing, we often can’t express ourselves fully. Amar, to love, is seen as so blunt and specific that children and parents use querer, to want, instead. It’s as if the words that are viable tools for communication are also well disguised booby traps, making it awkward to effectively communicate.

However, poetry is able to conquer all. Poetry allows for you to communicate your honest feelings to an audience, leaving no room for misunderstandings.

it's moments like this
of pure domestic life
when my heart sings

being together but separate in our distractions
walking and talking

being there as you fell asleep returned to me fantasies and dreams of hypothetical
theoretical
love

being able to see you curled up clutching that pillow gave rise to hope for such a physicality

we talked about what we'd do if we were in our own partnerships
would we change or maintain together?


your hand in mine feels
right, or exciting, or both
you didn’t let go until we got closer to scary adults and scary peers
i wonder what my hand feels like in yours

i still think about how stupid i was that night
and i still feel that i was unfair to you that night
and even further i don’t understand that other night
you only say so much
and i imagine so much more
i wish i didn’t need you to translate everything for me
from now on, you lead and i’ll follow

i would give anything
to see you smile forever
to remove the bags from under your eyes
and to keep your hair softer than silk

i would give so much
for you to be happy

listening to songs about love never got me anywhere

but still

i know how to describe love
in harps and cliches
in tonal poetry and emotional warmth

and that is the key to emotional reproduction
the key to creating new life from dying bodies

lapin
tu flâne dans ma tête
après j'ai essayé pour te faire partir
mais
ici tu es
dans mes rèves
quand tu quitteras?


quiero saber tu cuerpo
dejáme entrar
y ver todo

quiero oír tu corazón latir
con la sangre de tu padre y su padre y su padre

dime todo de tu vida mientras yo exploro tu piel
dime tus mortales temores mientras yo respiro de tu pecho
dejáme tocarte y por favor enseñarme

quiero aprender tu cuerpo como un lengua extincta
quiero movar mi lengua con tu lengua en sincronía perfecta

enseñarme, carajo enseñarme


By Michael Jones

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