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G. Bennett Ulrich  

Aurora Matahari Raiment

I want to love you, but I dare not because 
you will only take that gift and toss it on the heap 
of hearts given to you by boys you've known before.

Do you think I am so cruel? 
Do I spear those hearts with hidden fangs? 
Why would you ever choose to give so sweet a thing--your heart 
--to someone who would obviously burn it?

Because while I know you may return it, 
I still have a token to bestow. 
Love is only Love when it is given.  And perhaps 
you'll follow my lead 
if I'm brave enough to begin it.

You bait me 
--I do not have the heart, and since this is not a dance, nor a battleground, 
I should tell you plain 
--chivalry and bravery are obsolete, 
love is only truly love if it is given and received back 
without the asking.

So you say 
and yet if it goes without saying 
then why do you speak so much? 
Is it not a dance after all? 
I lead, you chase only to         run away when I advance. 
You say that I shouldn't speak and so I take a pause 
only to hear you fill the gap 
with words of admonition. 
If you really believe that asking is unnecessary, 
then why do you inquire 
as to why I would ever choose you?

I was questioning the way you assumed 
I would toss away your organs so idly 
as a trite trinket given half-heartedly. 
That's not me--not my nature, but I beg you, 
take a firm grasp on that part of you which is love 
and give it not to me. 
I cannot tarnish gold, 
or give you mine.

And so I reserve my gift until you can. 
But don't flatter yourself too much by my overstated words: 
I also cannot give you the gift that I don't yet own myself.

Ah!  Than I was much misled 
--who sweetly clings to those tender, 
though tortured affections?

One cannot fabricate Love as easily as Desire. 
We all desire things: 
But Love is a selfless act 
that threatens to steal our happiness 
unless it is replenished by others with similar charity.

I have never been big on charity.  Baby seals? 
    Whack 'em! 
        Nor am I companions with pity--

You're not companions with pity? Right, whatever 
--you adore the wallowing! 
So, must I use a pinch 
of that ol' black Tragic that you love so well 
to turn your heart towards the light of joy 
--or is that just a pipe dream 
made by a pipe dream boy?

My heart is joyful, 
even with the tablespoon of tragic 
I stir into my coffee each morning 
--so clinging to the resin and ash 
that are the left over burn-out of my moods, 
strive to streak the pipe of my affection 
--Pipe clean boy!

Pain can be an aphrodisiac, it reminds us we're alive 
--but acute and hardened blissful states ain't no slack-eyed jive! 
Take a taste of yummy glee, let it fill your cup, 
then you'll know why poets sing and lovers ask, "What's up?"

And you presume to know me? 
My glee, 
my joy, 
all amber honey, 
gooey, gluey, 
thick and runny 
--I have known loves, love, 
and rapture that only seems small 
when flung into the blackness of the heavens.

So keep it here on Earth with me 
and let it grow and flourish 
       --it will, you know.

No, No, No, No--

--she said, nodding--

--this is just too much, too easy maybe... 
        Let's play it your way, for once 
            --there's the courtship, 
                then the intensified romance, 
                    the overplayed, extended sexual interlude, 
                        hot breath taking stolen kisses, 
                    mutual friends, 
                road trips and holidays, 
            Christmas tree, and chocolate bunnies, 
        shopping together for things to make salad, 
    and underwear 
and I have to buy you a sweater... 
    it gets tough--not to say I don't love those things, but please, 
        I can't wake up in your Van Huesen.

                No need, 
                    I buy Geoffrey Beene... 
do you know what?  The 
won't,     and even 
grow thin 
and cause me stress 
--something I dislike. 
So instead of 
that secretly mean 
--or actually mean 
--just tell me 
that mean what they say 

No means no, today. 
If I gave in and loved you what ever would we use for fuel? 
The words would lack harmony, 
which is our appeal 
--If I let you in my head, you're too big to fit in my bed 
--I only screw people I don't respect.

Well, by that account I'm immune to being screwed by you. 
You want fuel? 
I will fill you up so full 
you'll burn so bright 
the moon will be confused when it sees your light. 
But I cannot supply the kindling as well as the spark 
--you must do your part or else we'll both sit cold in the dark.

Are you incapable of loving another?

I'm merely unwilling to cast my heart upon a pile of blackest soot. 
I'll advance a quarter mile if you'll just move one foot!

What if advancement is not a strategy that will help you win the war? 
The largest, most obvious question is this: 
Other lovely princesses, more eager for your touch 
will not ask you to, nor presume you'll need to give so much. 
If I constantly deflect your words like bullets on my wrists, 
then why do you reload your gun and continue to persist?

The answer's plain:  I can't resist. 

Reprinted with permission of authors 

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