As Soon As You Tell The One You Love - Poem by Patti Masterman
As soon as you tell the one you love
That you have fallen in love with him,
The love affair begins to sour, wither: die.
Great mournful clouds will begin to mass on the horizon
And then, small animals taken ill,
You will find them dead and dying on the stoop,
In the flower beds; and then the birds, too
Begin to die, to dropp like missiles, out of the air.
Trees in the yard will turn crimson brown as if it were already Fall
Branches breaking off, they become leafless stumps, without any arms
As your arms too, will itch; but nightly the hands will close upon nothing
The grass will die, then later, catch fire
The house will fill up floor to ceiling with spiders, locusts, wasps;
There will be an odor of vinegar, or yeast
And the object of all your fantasies will break out in hives
And he will curse then, the day he first heard your name spoken.
Later, a layer of soft ash will begin to fall
And if you choose to continue in this fashion
You'll be turned into an empty husk of pumice
Like those mummified ones they found in Pompeii-
Of those who once thought the love stored up from a single summers day
Could save them and all their unvaunted dreams-
All that will be left of you at the end will be an infestation of ants
In the empty lava-tube, of what was once a heart.
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