Sunday, February 14, 2010

Finding Love Within 18 Miles (Poem)

Finding Love Within 18 Miles

His message read,
Meet me at 12th and Broadway?

Like that. A question.
Not so much an invitation.

But how could I refuse?

He didn't know
how I spent my life
about growing up among the stacks
where the best best-sellers vie
with rare and fine first editions

What Strand calls
collectibles for everyone.

I e-mailed back:

And so it was

How we read our love.

He quoted Sartre
and I, Camus.
Philosophy's so grand
an invention.

Another time?
he nudged

And I nudged back.

What came up next
but Religion.

Shaky ground, I demurred.
This, I'm not so sure.

No problem, he insisted.

And so it wasn't.

Down from shelves came tomes
some to seek our homes.

We squinted at
sacred Judaic text
and quoted Buddhist wisdom

Fell silent
at sweet Saint Mary's face,
Qu'ran's illuminations.

Eyes met, hands touched.
Occult we checked,
sealing our two oft-bright visions.

Side by side, and aloud
we read. Words to fill out our cloud.

Lessons of Merlin, Alchemist's Kitchen,
10,000 Dreams Interpreted.

Of all the rest he liked one best:
Complete Idiot's Guide to Numerology.

I wondered then, as well I might,
where any of this was going.

He understood my words not said
and spoke his last Tao Daily Meditations.

Take your time. Go slow, and savor.
Strand's been here since, well, forever.

And so it was

We passed Games by, and Food and
Wine and Business/Economics.
No need had we
for Sports or Math, Comics or Military.

Transportation, we joked,
we could have used,
first mile turning eight miles more,
and seven more thereafter.

It was enough, I thought.

And so it was

How he guessed me right:
my need for Art, the Drama, Dance
the Fiction and Lit, aaahh, Poetry.

Two miles more that last
our brightest together,
our final stretch,
our knowing.

Between Byron and Keats
one kiss did land.
Cummings and Plath, one more
then another.

Next Lowell and Rich,
Hirshfield, Oliver, too,
and Paz before Pound,
then one other.

With Neruda we lost
our breath

And so it was

February 14 nearing,
he declared his love.

No secret that!
Books through and through

I knew.

But kindred spirit that he was
in my hands he placed
Strand card, marked Gift.

Whatever Your Heart Desires
it read.

And so he was.

Copyright © 2010 Maureen E. Doallas. All Rights Reserved.



Kathleen said...

Every hair on my body is standing up quivering with anticipation. Oh my. May I say this is your brilliant best. I see you two being Neruda and his wife, dancing on the portico in Il Postino. Happy, Happy Valentine's
Day beautiful girl. Romance for bibliophiles.... :)

Anonymous said...

at last
between the
vast aisles
of books

sarah said...

a perfect poem for the day! Nicely done.

Glynn said...

Beautful, Maureen. And I'm still trying to catch my breath.

M.L. Gallagher said...

oh Maureen. You do stir my heart and soul, no matter the page you write, it is, like, brilliant.

-- I'm so glad the boy got the girl and you got your heart's desire.



lucy said...

oh my, so beautiful... fabulous... apt... true... my heart gasps to know more...

Monica Sharman said...

I love that, especially what happened "between Byron and Keats"!

Neruda has been on my list. Thanks for the reminder. (I'm going to put it on library hold now.)

Kim said...

A love story between two people and with books. Beautiful.