by Betsy Dean
love poem for the bad times
|I call you Giulietta, amore dolorosa,
I plead guilty of wringing and clawing my own heart
and I love you, I love you, I love you, dulcet!
with my red paint like some Muscovy ivory opiate of an expatriate
but you, you're the whore.
I plead guilty to gross desertion
in the face of your tears in the hollow of the night
--oh, I love you, I love you, I love you, I can't not--
toss my hair, fix my earrings, gold against sable,
but it looks too much like the gold of your hair
and I crumble like the sandswept stone
of Ozymandias, of the relics of some ancient love
some ancient had for the contours of the Sphinx
and I just think up more sweet nothings for you,
because every word is a nothing compared to you,
and how I love you and love you and love you,
but you, you're a whore.