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in the place of loss and loneliness

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in the place of loss and loneliness

i have lived
in the place of loss and loneliness
listened to the song of myself
aching
reaching
toward
some infinite longing unfulfilled
as if
this sadness was my natural state

i have fallen for a girl
taken pains to weave together
beloved after beloved
only to crash into this emptiness again

what is it in my optimistic heart
that continues this quest
how do my arms continue to open
to the threat of love and loss and disappointments

i have no superpower
other than desire
my heart exploding in letters
arranged across a screen or page
into hope
into flames of unrest
and ultimately
into a new set of promises
to have and to hold
to appreciate and adore
to ignite foolishly into dark nights
in the arms of an available lover
somehow able to meet these rigorous demands
of honesty
vulnerability
and mutual aspirations
and the unrelenting “yes”
that can come from holding the hand
of the one
true
love

7-18-22

i am the poet of desire by john oakley mcelhenney

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