Reading Rita Dove at Midnight

Life, never what it appears to be

unless one is a poet.

I think of you, as I dig deeply into your metaphors,

and the communities of the marginalized,

the early morning freeze,

deadens my fingertips upon this

black, icy laptop, frozen as if dead.

Your words, alive with the perfume of truth.

I learn of eros and agape love

in terms of the saints, the way of holiness,

and not from the sawdust floors

after a beer or two, or more,

where upon deceit lures close by.

The trick is not to be a fool.

Choose wisely the prophets foretold.

Love, a maddening concept

if your choices lay dormant in a sea of mud.

Life, never what it appears to be

unless one is a poet?

One must sense the disquiet

of one’s own soul,

the vivacious beauty, that which is

deeply human, for all God hopes for

is a union with mankind.

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