Evolutionary logic

If it’s all about sex,
finding a fertile mate,
maximizing reproduction,
or so says evolutionary
psychology, then what
space remains for love?
Why do we crave it? What
purpose can it serve,
except to make us weep
and sigh and write poetry
and jump from bridges. Or
is love just sex under-
cover, dressing up to fool
us with its fake moustache,
a pair of dark sunglasses,
sneaking into our dreams as
a raindrop or a fountain or
endless blue water by a beach,
or yellow fish on a reef.
All simply our animal lust
for pleasure? A drive for
offspring to prove our
existence? Tell me then
science, why love? Why
pain and despair? Take them
back, I say, until humanity
evolves to a higher state,
in another million years.

Silly love songs

Love songs, lately, seem exceedingly silly.
“How do I live without you?” the pop star
Moans. Well, you get up and go to work.
(How does she not know this, I wonder.)
You buy the groceries and feed the cat and
Brush your teeth and eventually you’ll
Remember how to survive on one salary
And how to cook for one. “How do I breathe
Without you,” she croons. (Good grief,
this woman is daft.) You were never one
Person, no matter what the priest said.
One mouth, one heart, one brain? Silly
Fool. Love is two. Love is compromise.
Love is being fully, selfishly yourself.

Love letter 1.0

I spent the last year of
   my marriage crying,
And I cried for another
   year after that.
I do not want to cry
   any more; I do not
Want to go back to
   that dark place.
Even though I was falling
   in love, even though
I will miss your smile,
   your hands, the way
You say my name, I need
   the tears to stop.
“I can’t make you love
   me,” sang Bonnie Raitt,
And only now do I know
   what she meant.
I want your love freely
   given, even if every
Molecule quivers at the
   possibility of getting
Hurt. And I could not
   promise there would
Be no pain, but there
   would be joy, too.
It’s up to you.

No bright line

I was young once: I wanted
Fancy clothes and designer
Shoes and the perfect leather
Bag. I dined and traveled and
“Did” the museums – most
On the company’s dime.

I waited for my husband
To love me again; I waited
To fall again in love with him.
I waited for him to find
Someone else – and he did.

But I am only 35 you say?
The line between young and old
Is not so clear. Now I want only
The things of “old age.”

To wake up in the morning
Next to a man I love.
To watch the cat chase sunshine
Across a room. To see the sails
Or the whitecaps or the ice
Upon the water and by this
Know winter or summer. To hear
Birds and dogs and children
Playing. To see an old man
Feed squirrels in the park.

To go to bed at night knowing
I’ve accomplished some small
Thing – repotted a plant or cooked
A meal or written a poem.
My greatest worry? Those
overdue library books.

I was young once,
but I am done with that.

Bad posture

Does she affect 
           the disinterest?
Or is that her natural
He leans eagerly
           across the table,
talks rapidly,
           wants to impress,
to please. “Don’t sell me,”
           she says,
and he deflates
           for an instant,
then goes back
           for another try.

How long
           will they perform
this three-act play?
           Until the wedding,
the first child, or the
           second anniversary?
I want to warn them:
           be honest,
don’t play games.
           But I see the habits
Of ages ingrained
           on their faces.
They will learn
           a new posture
Or they will not.