The Most Usual Lie

I wrote this poem yesterday – not specifically for Valentine’s Day, but I guess the subject matter fits. x

The Most Usual Lie

To tell you the truth, there is too much everything

in the phrase “I love you”.

Forever and an instant.

It is the universal adaptor. Plug it in, and it will power

all alternating connections.

It is also the most usual lie,

which reminds me of the night last October

when we woke to the thick, exquisite pinkness of a night storm.

We yawned to the window, found each other’s sleepy hand

And I said it.

But what I meant was: I am afraid.

Or that day two years ago

when we sat by your father’s skeleton bed as he wheezed

and trembled towards death

and the horror of it all was a spiteful room attendant,

And I said it.

But what I really meant was: I do not want to die.

Or this morning,

as we washed our crumby dishes, as the bubbles

slipped from dish to hand,

from egg cup to soapy forearm, in the quiet of domestic usualness,

And I said it.

And what I meant was:

You do not rinse the dishes quite like I do.

But oh, my heart, my life’s work, my comfort and my most cruel deceiver,

I love you

And I love you

And I love you.

It is as simple and as dreadfully, delicately,

truthfully complicated as that.

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2 Comments on “The Most Usual Lie”

  1. Doug February 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    Valentine or not it’s really well done and universal without being commonplace. Often the uncrackable code…those three little words and you captured that.

  2. belllettres February 13, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    Thanks Doug.

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