But Love is Impossible

But love is impossible in these perilous times—
& even if I madly whisper your name like a prayer
murder rivals with my eyetooth glare
or, true to fawning, float Kabbala’s letter
that would open the cellar of all lovers’ crimes
the war—on all fronts—is never won.

The trench is heart-deep, smelling of gunpowder/blood
& your bodyguards, driven from suburban turf,
flank your body like anointed beasts come
to destroy the key I hold up to your face
Surely, the wisdom of my fathers runs deep:
Do not trespass your limits, we are bound
like hawks to our breed of passion/grief.  Time
simply rewinds plots of love’s class/flowers/whips

While native armies clash in the countryside
& cities shake under warlords/transnational goons
While presidents lie through their theological teeth
& ministers lipsynch the Pope’s eternal verities
While good men rot at Harvard & soirees
& chauffeured criminals stalk virgins/activists
While pretty boys reek of cologne & Switzerland
& nymphets, white as bones, bare their buttons on the ramp
While peons disperse like ants all over the planet
& the poor/young/trapped sell their minds/bodies
While the promise of revolution gains ground
& fattened traitors push their casino luck

Love exfoliates in your icy smile—
I perish like a cockroach in these perilous times.

From Quadratic Silences, 1991

This entry was posted in POETRY OF EDEL GARCELLANO, selected by G.Y. Guillermo. Bookmark the permalink.

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