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Verses for Her

All of my life,
I’ve transgressed against You!
Do what You will to me, -- starve me and curse me, --
but just this once, listen to me
without scorn or censure, --
this very day, an atheist prays for mercy!

if You have the least bit of decency,
have pity on my soul, -- it is tired and dismal, --
send the Holy Spirit to earth to visit me,
I need all the help I could get on this one.

Teach me
to verbalize the agony of my love lucidly,
write the words on my tongue as though on parchment.
Let her hear me out,
but know, if she refuses me,
I’ll see You for the final judgment!


You sit here, baffled,
eyes -- ripe with tragedy,
not letting a word slip in-between deep sighs.
I can feel my body slowly losing gravity,
being pulled only to your troubled eyes.

You shrink like a criminal before the judge.
I hover above you, menacing,
Ignoring my threats, you’re still refusing to budge.
Tell me you love me, pantomime!

You seem to be dissecting my words pensively.
Fine. Take your time. It is all in your hands.
(Give me a clue. Say anything. Answer me!)
Not a word in response.
Somber silence descends.

No? Enough of this!
I can’t endure this friendship!
Him or me?
We’ve long reached that point!
Pick one of us now and end this head-trip,
If you’d like, you can flip a coin!

No? Fine!
Go to him! Let him call you, “honey.”
I’ll be waiting at the corner every time you part.
No matter how you try, you cannot outrun me,
Burdened by the weight of my heavy heart!

You’ll stay up with him, drinking Hennessey,
reminiscing, in an amorous rendezvous,
suddenly, the sun will rise, soaked in jealousy,
like the bloodied red eye of a bull.

As you’re kissing him, I’ll brush you slightly
with an autumn zephyr and disappear.
In the moment of passion, I’ll be right beside you
whispering poetry into your ear.

I won’t give you a moment of silence.
I will sit on your doorsteps, begging for alms.
Don’t you know that there’s no asylum
other than the refuge of my opened arms?

You’ll go to confession – I’ll pose as the priest.
I’ll trespass in the temple of God, if I have to.
I won’t let you go!
Out of pity, at least,
stay here for now, -- you can fall for me after!

Please, don’t leave me! --
this is ridiculous! --
If you’re ashamed of me, dear, listen,
I will love you quietly and remain inconspicuous,
like an immigrant without a visa.

I will pickpocket kisses from you
on the busy subway
and leave you flabbergasted, like a great magician
with a sleight of hand can leave the public
believing in miracles with superstition.

Or if you wish, I can love you zealously, palpably,
play our love on the trumpet
on 42nd and Broadway,
turn your tears into gold through the magic of alchemy
and that will be merely the beginning of foreplay.

You don’t trust me?
With my poet’s salary,
You doubt that I could support your wants?
Do you see all these stars?
From my balcony,
I command them like castles, bishops and pawns.

With a sky for a ceiling and a cloud for a bed,
I’ll keep you in my arms where the time moves slower.
I’ll chase down your dreams with a butterfly net.
Tell me, what does he offer?!

Through my words, you’ll acquire such riches and fame,
wealthy kings will fight over your crumbs.
Kissing their wives, men will silence your name
and treasure it under their tongues.

Trust me! My verses will fill the temples,
I’ll teach the world to renounce false idols.
Tell me you love me
and the earth will tremble
from the heavy footsteps of our disciples!

Tell me you love me and, rest assured,
I will praise our love with such certainty
that we’ll break though the door of the vestibule
and together, we’ll enter eternity.