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A quarterly international literary journal

Love (in the Shade of Midnight Blue)




/ First Place, 2023 Plentitudes Prize in Poetry /

I do not wish to be saved from solitude. Bless me with it,

a kiss planted midnight blue on the loyal curve of my forehead

from whichever mother I come—the moon? shadow? death

itself?—it’s not for me to say. I was told that in the end, we all

die alone. Half-truth. I want to say: In the while, we all live

alone, too. Another half-truth, but one that I keep puckered in

my mouth along the soft lining of my cheek so that it may always

stay warm. Tell me, what’s there behind your teeth? Open, so

slowly, and I will open too. I want to say: Love me. I want to say:

If you love me, sail with me at midnight under this old, old moon

and think only of the stillness of the water. I want to say:

Hush. Be still. I say: I love you, but I mean: I witness the glory of

your solitude. In the end, what can we really give another?

I say that I love you, but—bless me—what I mean is

you sit at this table beside me, and I am underneath the moon,

experiencing myself.

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