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I Love You

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Three little words that aren’t so little.
Words so small and so easy to say
And yet so laden with meaning
You laugh. Didn’t you always ask me what do you mean
By mean?
Victim of an overactive education
These words are huge
Words that should be carved on the side of mountains
By teams of craftsmen born and trained only to chisel
I love you in the landscape
and when the final tap
resounds in the desolate space
They collapse
And die, elated, ecstatic at having completed their life’s work.
Big words, massive words, words that there is no adjective to convey
How ginormous (made up word)
How enormous they are.
The power of a small word or three
Written by silent monk calligraphers in death quiet monasteries
Poring over each gilded letter for years on end
Decisions about colours and layers of gold each taking
Months to decide in committee.
Evening prayers and matins
Compline and all of those sacred rituals
Pass them right by
Their obsession is the letter.
And when the final stroke is made
They stop and pray
Waiting and wondering what more they can do to serve
Their demanding, recalcitrant deity who has taken
All of their skill their strength their devotion
And made it into I love you
What now?
Three little words that should be made into markers in the
Newly harvested fields across the planet
And satellites in all their chilly loneliness trace them on the screens
Of scientists who stop their calculating and devising and think of
Their own loves.
Words too big you said
To be taken away by the dustmen because they are too large
They will not meet the stringent criteria of rubbish
Although rubbish is not what they are, far
From it.
Words that cannot be crammed into a dustbin or a recycle bin or shredded and put
On the compost.
They are massive words that should sit around and look plump
Self satisfied
Polished and important
A room filled with them would be overfull like the best parties when everyone
You asked turned up and brought their friends
And yet the pleasure of standing and watching a crowded room
That was caused by you and yet in which you cannot participate
Is exactly how this particular love should feel
To anyone at whom the words were not directed.
I lay and thought a while about the gravity of your three little words
The words that I was supposed to long to hear
And yet requiring your authentication
And heard you say
Words that should be only said when they are the by-product of every heartbeat
Of every renal rush and not flung out like discarded and meaningless things
Like banana skins.
Massive words that should feel as though they burst through skin
And cannot be contained by larynxes alone.
And I believed you and lay back, educated
And satisified.


C Poemic 2011. No reproduction in any form without express Poemic permission.



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