In this unspoken space where lovers, mute,
imagine beyond thought a world to come,
one comes to rest upon the hardest truth:
faced with a simple word you are struck dumb,
and know to speak of it and not to lie
would tear apart your fragile acted sham.
Yet from this conflict, weakly, your soul will fly,
where true love would not pause or give a damn.
To know the taste of love and to refuse
the sweeter cup, accepting bitterness
while denying passion its proper place,
is to play a sad game where all will lose:
making all life dying, breeding weakness,
and lying to all with a stranger’s face.
07 DEC 2003 (for Andrew J. Thomas)