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You Cannot Go to the God You Love With Your Two Legs

And because you’re not an antelope or a dog

you think you can’t drop your other two limbs down

and charge toward the Eternal Heart.

But you must fall in love so deeply, those other legs

are yours too, the ones that have hauled their strange body

through a city of millions in less than a day

at its own pace, in its own pain,

and because you cannot make the pace of the one whom you love

your own and because you cannot make the pain of the one you love

your own pain, your separate aches must meet somewhere

poised in the heaven between your bodies

the skylines turned on their sides

reminders of what once was, what every man and woman

must build upon, build from, the body, the miserable,

weeping body, the deep bony awkwardness of love

in the bed. If you’ve kissed bricks in secret

or fallen asleep where there was no bed or spent time

lighting a fire, then you know the beginning of love

and maybe you know the end of it and maybe you know

the far ends, the doors, where loved ones enter

to check on you. It’s not someone else speaking

when you hear I love you. It’s only the nighttime

pouring into the breast’s day. Sunset, love. The thousand

exits. The thousand ways to know your elbow

from your ass. A simple dozen troubled hunters

laying all their guns down, that one day

they may be among the first to step

into your devastated rooms

and say Enough now, enough.

from Brooklyn AntediluvianFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2016
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

Published in Patrick Rosal Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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