Three Love Poems

Adam Ai

You Shall Only Know Love by its Absence

Water and blood like your poetry works

When I finally push against your breast

With my ear as if to gather your heart

Of words returned of all but rhythm

When in blood you remind me to my life

As we feed paper boats to currents run

On tiny racing bounds of dream-laughter

The kids in reservoirs of endless cool

In striding Los Angeles veins capering

In miracles kids do without knowing

In the words they call over bare oceans

In echoes run like naked concrete now

Returned in singing to gabble tidepool

Of life as something laughing forever,

Like mother, father, and child existed,

Saint Monica said, Before. Ever. Was.

Tilt the Holy Neon

We go in a giggle of ghosts

Unbroken and tilt the holy neon

Clock-wheels of color, in other words,

As these and other worlds go verb

And vowel licking distance in light

You hide within your vastness flight

And gossip my whole universe in stars

And two of everything, at least you know

How odd identity is and posing

In the light, gabbing all the time and what

In the primeval sense we always touch.

We may see patterns and can be afraid

Of love, identity is still the fox,

Eyes glowing, talking dreams, our planets

Maybe a million years dead already,

Or stars that die tonight. A light just ghosts.

Gold, Love & War

Words. Like in the beginning,

Apple-wine, firelight,

A moral for us of course,

As children laughing lay

Shock in a paper mirror,

The plot twist, in the end.

The last page is a foil.

Before that laughing okay,

And blowsy I scuttled wood

And leaves, pages flew

Gold mouths describing everything

Wings high on lexiconography,

Words. Mom and Dad

Read and read and ever drunk

On distance I just listen for poetry

As they eat the books and spit

Words. The secret is ink,

Accidental epiphany,

The voice of my mother a ghost

Of night and I fall asleep so close

To the fire I breathe and wake a dragon,

In pretty words I promise

But now my heart is smoke

The silence my silence and

I go dreaming on and dream

Words. Maybe I woke up

Spells like a talismanic

Magic curses me and maybe

Cures me too. I knew

Words. What isn't about love?

Is this book as big as I fear?

Is my heart as big as I must?

The spine is broken with

Words. Gold, Love & War.

So mine is a story of ours.

The last page is first.

God and devil arrive all moons

Rising in the seasons of

Dreaming a dream king,

Words. Dead that walk away,

In my voice when I speak

In verse the forest burns

And where do I see my face

But as they walk through me

Into every reflection?

Moral. The end. Light.

Adam Ai is a poet and Army veteran from Los Angeles, California. He has previously been published in South Florida Poetry Journal, Ninshar Arts, Chiron Review, Art Times Journal, Ancient Paths Christian Literary Magazine, Abstract: Contemporary Expressions Magazine, Pointed Circle, and Xenith. Follow him on Twitter @AdamAiPoems.

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