You Cannot Go to the God You Love With Your Two Legs

Patrick Rosal

And because you’re not an antelope or a dog
you think you can’t drop your other two limbs down
and charge toward the Eternal Heart. But
those are your legs too, the ones that have hauled
your strangest body through a city of millions
in less than a day, at its own pace, in its own pain,
and because you cannot make the pace of the one whom you love
your own, and because you cannot make the pain of the one you love
your own pain, your separate aches must meet somewhere
poised in the heaven between your bodies
 —skylines turned on their sides—reminders
of what once was, what every man and woman
must build upon, build from, the body, the miserable,
weeping body, the deep bony awkwardness of love
in the bed. If you’ve kissed bricks in secret
or fallen asleep where there was no bed or spent time
lighting a fire, then you know the beginning of love
and maybe you know the end of it too,
and maybe you know the far ends, the doors, where
loved ones enter to check on you. It’s not someone else speaking
when you hear I love you. It’s only the nighttime
pouring into the breast’s day. Sunset, love. The thousand
exits. The thousand ways to know your elbow
from your ass. A simple dozen troubled hunters
laying all their guns down, that one day
they may be among the first to step
into your devastated rooms
and say Enough now, enough.

To read more of Rosal's poems, please purchase the issue here.