Kim Addonizio

(July 31, 1954 / Washington, D.C)

You Don'T Know What Love Is - Poem by Kim Addonizio

You Don't Know What Love Is
but you know how to raise it in me
like a dead girl winched up from a river. How to
wash off the sludge, the stench of our past.
How to start clean. This love even sits up
and blinks; amazed, she takes a few shaky steps.
Any day now she'll try to eat solid food. She'll want
to get into a fast car, one low to the ground, and drive
to some cinderblock shithole in the desert
where she can drink and get sick and then
dance in nothing but her underwear. You know
where she's headed, you know she'll wake up
with an ache she can't locate and no money
and a terrible thirst. So to hell
with your warm hands sliding inside my shirt
and your tongue down my throat
like an oxygen tube. Cover me
in black plastic. Let the mourners through.


Comments about You Don'T Know What Love Is by Kim Addonizio

  • Subhas Chandra Chakra (4/29/2016 1:16:00 AM)


    you know she'll wake up
    with an ache she can't locate and no money
    and a terrible thirst. So to hell
    with your warm hands sliding inside my shirt
    and your tongue down my throat
    like an oxygen tube. Cover me
    in black plastic. Let the mourners through.

    Nice metaphors.
    Loved the poem.10 for it.
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Weldon Davis (1/13/2016 6:38:00 AM)


    I like how love came back to life and was reckless in this poem...The ending threw me a little whereas what I took from it was you would rather her not come back to life at all? ...Cliche as it may seem isn't the joy of love doing these reckless things and being caught in the moment so to speak? Sorry if I'm being over analytical here..I love this poem...Yet it's like one of those movies that pisses you off cause it didn't go the way you wanted to..LOL (Report) Reply

  • (2/3/2009 11:08:00 AM)


    :) (Report) Reply

  • (2/3/2009 11:08:00 AM)


    :) (Report) Reply

  • (2/3/2009 11:08:00 AM)


    :) (Report) Reply

  • (2/3/2009 11:06:00 AM)


    :) (Report) Reply

  • (1/11/2009 2:58:00 PM)


    oh, yes-
    and then again...
    cover me in black plastic.
    let the mourners through.
    the lines will stay with me-
    the threat of following the love we create inside
    when the tongue is warm
    and the yes is raised up
    from its always empty grave

    ohhhh-thank you for the inspiration!
    it is a joy to trip into your offerings here!
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/11/2007 9:06:00 PM)


    Just excellent use of unexpected terminology. I really liked it. (Report) Reply

  • (1/10/2007 9:17:00 AM)


    Love of life or love of death its ultimately the same. A strong poem. (Report) Reply

Read all 9 comments »



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Read poems about / on: car, money, sick, food, dance, girl, river, love



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 1, 2005



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