Love Is An Oil Spill

John Grey

Not waves of flesh
but an ocean heavy, turgid.
Not deep and warm
but thick and oily to the touch.

You find love
by groping your hands in it,
hoping to rescue suffocated dreams,
scrub their bodies, wash their wings.

What’s a fantasy
when dense brown bubbles
pop and hiss,
or clot the veins, the arteries.

Love’s the men who,
for all their measured breaths,
break like barges in the clinch,
boil and roil you in a coat of oil.

Soon, your beaches are graveyards,
your scents are smells.
Your hair cannot glide across your neck,
just squats down on your head.

If you think of God at all,
it’s as the relentless owner of these vessels,
who sends them to you
knowing they’re not sea-worthy.

You don’t smile at the joke
for fear your teeth will blacken.
And then when you find you can’t swim in love,
you learn to float atop it.

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