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Love & Terror


ISSUE:  Spring 2012

I love you so much my terror has left me.
I love you so much, my terror has put on its coat and paces the sidewalk,
hands in its pockets, breath clouding the air before its face.
I love you so much, I could offer it a scarf, I could bring it a drink,
I could walk it to my neighbor’s house and let it in.

It’s cold by the highway and I love your long lines of steelmills all the way
to Cleveland, how the smokestacks choke the sky with love,
how they wrap their arms around us all. Oh, love,
how I love your lines of tanks and trucks—they beat the pavement like
hearts full of love

while my terror smokes in that neighbor’s attic, fingering the old photos,
while my terror sings nursery rhymes to the dark, upturned boxes at its feet.

Sometimes, we are holding hands like lovers strolling all the way to the cornfields.
Sometimes we are standing in the scorched fields and it’s like our bodies are on fire.

I love you like the bomb loves its timer, like the helmet loves the head.
And when it finally snows, you’re the obliterating shrapnel that I love,
You’re the falling burning leaves, the great flag, static, shower of sparks,
You’re the green mist the plane lets drift over the sleeping city one night
not long from now just before dawn—
A fine green ice covers everything and,

oh, love, my terror is singing in my neighbor’s attic, my terror is improvising
this song, my terror is drunk on beer,
my terror is opening the window, is standing on the ledge, is waking
the neighbors,
is transfixed by the dizzying squall.

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