If we rely on calendars and ad men
to prompt us into thinking of our love,
and on one day a year make feeble gestures
to compensate that love for our neglect
(the endless days of noncommunication,
illusions of control based out of fear,
a slow loss of respect for one another,
the taking all for granted without thought)
do we expect that one day makes it worth it,
that souls, despite starvation, can endure,
or hearts, wracked with a lifetime’s hairline fractures,
are still willing and able to respond?
If you would love me, do so in the open.
Do not in secret build devotion’s shrine;
and if by Valentine’s I have not known it,
there is no point in saying you are mine.
14 FEB 2005