Saturday, May 19, 2012


Each From Different Heights 
by Stephen Dunn

That time I thought I was in love
and calmly said so
was not much different from the time
I was truly in love
and slept poorly and spoke out loud
to the wall
and discovered the hidden genius
Of my hands.
And the times I felt less in love,
less than someone,
were, to be honest, not so different either.
Each was ridiculous in its own way
and each was tender, yes,
sometimes even the false is tender.
I am astounded
by the various kisses we’re capable of.
Each from different heights
diminished, which is simply the law.
And the big bruise
from the longer fall looked perfectly white
in a few years.
That astounded me most of all.

(1989, Stephen Dunn, Between Angels)


Are there really distinctions? Love, infatuation, friendship-with-benefits. You always end up bruised, and the bruises would always look "perfectly white in a few years."

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