Love poem for Valentine’s day

I have noticed over my association with many poets, that there were many times a male poet might write a stunning love poem to a woman that he treated pretty shabbily. Not always the case, but it made me less jealous that I wasn’t getting so many love poems.

I have a sense that E Ethelbert Miller treats Maria well:

Crossing the Line

.         for Maria

Sitting across the table from you
I think back to when our friendship
came down from the mountains.
It was a cold day and the miners
had not left for work.

You break a cookie in half like bread
and this sharing is what we both now need.
That which breaks into crumbs are memories.
Your gray hair cut short and you ask if I notice.

How can I tell you that Bolivia will always be
beautiful and everything I notice is you
and yes is you. Our napkins folded in our hands.
Folded as if our meeting now is prayer.

Did I ever tell you that your eyes are a map
and I would lose myself if you ever turned away
E. Ethelbert Miller

Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 14, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets. You can read his comments about this poem on their website.

So many love poems

The American Academy of poets sent me a link to “Poems for Valentine’s Day.” I chose this one to share:

I Loved You Before I Was Born

I loved you before I was born.
It doesn’t make sense, I know.

I saw your eyes before I had eyes to see.
And I’ve lived longing 
for your ever look ever since.
That longing entered time as this body. 
And the longing grew as this body waxed.
And the longing grows as the body wanes.
The longing will outlive this body.

I loved you before I was born.
It doesn’t make sense, I know.

Long before eternity, I caught a glimpse
of your neck and shoulders, your ankles and toes.
And I’ve been lonely for you from that instant.
That loneliness appeared on earth as this body. 
And my share of time has been nothing 
but your name outrunning my ever saying it clearly. 
Your face fleeing my ever
kissing it firmly once on the mouth.

In longing, I am most myself, rapt,
my lamp mortal, my light 
hidden and singing. 

I give you my blank heart.
Please write on it
what you wish. 

Lee-Young Li