A Love Poem Without Subtext
Because sometimes the best way to say a thing
is to say it: a river is as wide
as a river, a knife as sharp as a knife.
My love for you is my love for you.
Can’t be compared with anything else,
not for anyone else—for you.
The years without you were like wind
racing along the river, a dry mouth
thirsting, unable to kiss
the water’s skin—or like skin, taking in
the knife, blade never-ending, unbending,
no hilt to stop it, no way for the wound
to begin, much less to mend. So yes,
the distance between having/not
having has made me sure—
on a street with a hundred houses
I’ll always know my door.
Originally published in MER 18 – HOME
Danielle Jones is the associate director of the Writers House at Merrimack College. Her poems have appeared in Best New Poets, Beloit Poetry Journal, Memorious, Southern Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a 2014 Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award.