love in 2 parts

there's hope in poetry
comfort in fiction
like the voice of Walt Whitman, for example.

i have noticed something
you will have noticed it too
we cut the words off short
we like either or
we are the virgin and the whore
you will have noticed this too

so I am led to say purely for example, purely for survival
and speaking of course from my own experience
when I'm drunk it's easy
when I'm sober I try not to love you so hard
will not love you so hard
you will have noticed this too,
for you were on the other side.


in a sanfrancisco loft you couldnt pay for
i could feel your heart beat through the floor boards
i waved my hope around like a cheap flag
whose colors had faded
whose emblem was laughable

what is whiskey in the morning but a clear path to the door
what would Uncle Walt say to the silent floorboards?

© 2000 Erin McKeown