The man claimed
his poem was about love
but it was about
fucking and only fucking.
We wanted love poems that smelled
of bullets and instead got this
rose and mountain stream,
fresh bread and snowdrop scent.
We wanted to hear love poems
about Babylon falling
and fires in the streets,
but instead got this wordy mess
about hydraulics and heat transfer,
not at all the same as the fire
we longed for. Love sometimes demands
a war song. Love is often
a hand up to a streeted body
and a slap across authority’s
mouth, or at least it should be.
Love sometimes looks like
riot wounds and how we tenderly
clasp another’s tired hands
in our own after a revolution,
but all this poet can say
is that he wants to be inside,
inside, when all we want of love
is for someone to bleed alongside us
as we fight to come in out of the cold.