LOVE IN THE TIME OF ZERO TOLERANCE
For now, let us love parenthetically—
let us lie caught in the embrace of conditionality,
nursing a petrified conscience that can't help
but mourn, and can't even
Every time I touch you I can only hear the children: a symphony
of solitude as cries echo through hollow
I ask if you remember loving me
when that was all there was to do, because I don't
either—so our hearts fracture in harmony and we watch
each other's eyes drift farther away.
What do a dozen roses smell like while families are divided
into pieces small enough to be caged, when borders
are drawn through blood, when the prison yard
has a swing set?
So our sheets remain tangled in guilt,
our bodies repent our breaths,
as we add the Times to the pile under the bed and try
to remember how to hold each other—and you ask me
if I can still love you and I say:
I will love you when I find myself able to
love anything, which is perhaps as often as the moon
pirouettes—I will love you in the way she shows her face
but once and promises to return, in the way her light
is darkness, subtracted.
Danielle Gennaro lives in Purchase, NY and earned an MFA from Manhattanville College. She has taken workshops with Brooklyn Poets and the Dylan Thomas International Summer School at the University of Wales, and she has been previously published in Oberon Poetry Magazine, Wizards in Space Literary Magazine (Volumes 2 and 3), and Toho Journal Online.
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