PART ONE

Charles says
When you’re single beyond thirty,
all of the rules change.

Dating is no longer
about finding forever.
You have already met your soulmate
and lost them;
stared down the road to forever
and chosen
a different path -

realized that all paths,
eventually
lead back to your own heart,
in which lies the small dream
of a comfortable death.

Truly,
we are all alone,
says Alan.
And, every person we meet
simply exists
as a reflection of our inner selves -
so it’s best just to improve
your own insides, first.

So, I’ve spent the better half
of a decade
chasing my own flighty truth, dowsing
the watery sky for stars
while swallowing
feathery platitudes, when


Sofia says,
Once you’ve reached a certain age,
you realize that real love
is always enduring.

What she leaves out
is, eternity shifts
just as we do.

Forever’s face ages
alongside our own dubious features,
evolving to greet the undivinable
climate of human nature,
as if it had always
intended to do so.

So when he asks me
How do you love?

I tell him
Momentously.
Wholly.
With all that I am -
always.

Which is to say, truly -
Without ever needing
to believe
you will stay.

But I leave that part spare
to preserve his smile -
hoping
that I will have left him
in fairer weather
for holding him kindly,
because a wise meteorologist
once said,
We never know what might happen
next.


PART TWO

The next page
I turned to
raised the words

Love is easy
when you let it perch lightly,
like a wild winged thing
which could take flight
at any moment.

Tame your heart, poet
for this life is swift and fleeting.
Tell the truth, simply
commit yourself
only to leaving
each person you touch
better
for having held
your hand.