I don’t know who they are
but they keep yelling at me:
Enough, enough! What’s with
the moaning, all the doom-poems?
You are sitting in a warm-enough room.
You are still warm to the touch.
Look out the window at that one cardinal.
There’s the woman across the street
starting her Jeep. There’s so much going on
that isn’t the direct result of some tragedy.
Write a damn love poem,
they say. An ice-cream poem,
cool and sweet. A feather pillow poem,
soft and easy to clutch. A poem with
a roar-shaped kiss. A metric ton
of roar-shaped kisses, in fact. Why
the constant scream of pain and
anger at how the worms of money and hate
twist through all our guts
all day and night? Write us
out of that with a love poem,
a bird poem, a stars in your eyes poem
or two or three hundred, Mr. Prolific,
Mr. I Got Words For Everyone, Buddy?
All my poems are love poems, I answer back.
I wouldn’t stand for them if they were not.
I would not be here with them clustered around me
if I did not think they held love within.
The poems with the guns will do what’s right
for love. The poems full of moans are the echo
of wishing for better. Every word
may taste like rocky road
to a parched and bitter mouth.
And why is there roaring at all in these words
if not to speak of love for the world as loudly as I can
in the face of so many teeth and such greedy claws?
They don’t answer. They never do.
I wish I could do anything else but this.
This morning I shall settle at the keyboard
to put flowers upon all the unmarked graves.
It’s not a living. It’s a life.
Shh, I tell them. Enough, enough.