by Nick Anthony

To think, you’re finally here with me!
After years of relentless, flirtatious banter,
Sometimes as playful as puppies, we were:
Other times more serious than a snake bite–
Yet ever fruitless my affections were.

Unattainably distant, you seemed to me.
A hazy speck just beyond the horizon,
Across the ocean of my life.
And I, stranded on my little island,
Couldn’t possibly build a smoke signal
Tall enough to alert your look-out.

For years I suffered on that damned sandbar.
Constantly tortured to watch your sails
Like white flags waiving, “surrender”.
My salvation: so far away,
yet always lurking on my horizon.

A volatile lust of youthful haste
I did all I could to be with you.
Against the protests of those who loved me,
Who warned of your unforgiving nature.
It was only your love that I craved.

Yet, never did you sail nearer.
Defeated, I turned away from the horizon.
I searched inland for new loves
And found a new understanding.

I realized what a child I was in your eyes;
You, an immortal seductress of gods,
Accustomed to entertaining older,
Saggy, flabby and white, but experienced men.

But for all my enlightenment
I was no more than a junky,
And you were my dope.
And my new interests were nothing
But substitute addictions
Filling the unfathomable well
Your memory left behind.

But you never truly left, did you?
On slippery mountain sides
I smelled your blood-orange perfume
Coaxing me to release my hold
And breathe deep your luscious scent
As I fell into your embrace.

Late at night,
As the world swirled around me
Like an inescapable, carousel Hell,
I found serenity in your soft face
Staring up from the bottom
Of the empty bourbon bottle.

More than once, lost and alone,
On my solitary sand penitentiary,
I felt your smooth skin,
Tasted your black metallic lipstick,
And thought I knew your kiss
On the cold steel of my revolver.

But never more than fleetingly
Did I feel your haunting presence.
Accepting my lot I built a life,
And content I was on my island.
And for many long years
I’ve loved and been loved
And was happy without you.

I was naive, I guess.
To think myself free of our hold;
The first man to resist your allure.
For now I’ve become your faithful client:
One of those decrepid old perverts,
Practically salivating with anticipation
For you to lay beside me
And caress my weary widowed bones
In this lonely hospital bed.

For all my life,
while I’ve craved your touch,
Ever did I fear it, too.

Yet again, a bumbling fool I was!
Your soft fingers are full of compassion
As they soothe my final regrets and fear.
I gratefully accept the truth
That such permanent beauty
Is not to be understood
In Life’s fleeting existence.

One of the longest poems I’ve written, I hope you made it to the end. And I hope that I have connected with some of you. I think all of us have this internal struggle at some level or time in our lives.

You can read more of my work at Rafiki’s Nikki

6 Comments to “Love”

  1. “I’ve loved and been loved
    And was happy without you.”
    connected with this

  2. This is beautiful.
    Sometimes, things seem too good to be true, b cause they are.
    I’ve come across many people and even objects that are so aesthetically pleasing, but I’ve learned enough to know those things are usually poison, and have no place in my life.

  3. Very profound. A poem worth reading and rereading.

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