Love Poem 1990
by Peter Meinke
When I was young and shiny as an apple in the good lord’s garden,
I loved a woman whose beauty like the moon moved all the humming heavens to music
Till the stars with their tiny teeth burst into song and I fell on the ground before her while the sky hardened
and she laughed and turned me down softly, I was so young.
When I was a man sharp as a polished axe in the polleny orchard
I loved a woman whose perfumes swayed in the air,
turning the modest flowers scarlet and loose
till the jonquils opened their throats and cackled out loud
when I broke my hand on her door and cried I was tortured
and she laughed and refused me, only one man in a crowd.
When I grew old, owning more than my share of the garden
I loved a woman young and fresh as a larkspur trembling in the morning’s translucent coolness,
her eyes had seen nothing but good, and as the sun’s gold rolled off her wrists with reluctance, she pardoned my foolishness,
laughed and turned me down gently, I was so old.
And when I fell ill, rooted in a deep house spotted with curses
I loved a woman whose bones rustled like insects wings through the echoing darkening rooms,
and the ceiling dropped like a gardener’s hoe toward my bed.
So I stretched out my hand to her begging my god for mercy
and she laughed and embraced me sweetly, I was so dead.