Beyond Love
#1
                               Beyond Love
 
If nature isn't a veterinarian, it's not a people doctor
with medications and social therapy;
this herbal remedy is just as much just an herb
as a sheep's anus is only that;
a veterinarian has remedies for animals,
for humans he has none.
 
We sit side by side, your bare thigh against my pants,
this subtle electric fire you only consider with a smile:
it would be so much easier if you were a man,
they've been playing this game for centuries;
fifteen years is nothing to a Frenchman in Algeria
or an old consumptive in Venice;
their secret goes beyond love.
 
There's too much bourgeois marriage in our climate
that tames our blood.
I'm old enough to be your father
had I been so lucky at fifteen.
How many you've had already. . . .
 
How you girls' eyes squint and begin to smile like a surfer
when your lungs are swimming in smoke;
you wouldn't wet your lips if I were drowning in drink,
you say you can't trust yourself when you're drunk.
—What does that have to do with me?
My stomach is so big with drink,
I could also be your mother.
 
No friends, you say, you can't wait
to get away, into a college in a better place,
where there are people you can relate to;
all you know here are of mere acquaintance.
I wonder if you know how that makes me feel,
as smoke blends so into the commonplace we no longer notice it,
and if you did, how much you'd care.
 
Well I'm going, I say, if I don't get home
I'll be accused of being out with you . . .
You frown and say, I'll see you. . . . As though to say—Whoever you are.
And I disappear behind the tree,
where I've always been (and always will be),
until today.
 
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#2
Beyond Love                                                                -I wondered what could be beyond love, now I may see
 
If nature isn't a veterinarian, it's not a people doctor      - I stumbled a bit, but this was a blessing to learn
with medications and social therapy;
this herbal remedy is just as much just an herb
as a sheep's anus is only that;
a veterinarian has remedies for animals,
for humans he has none.                                            
 
We sit side by side, your bare thigh against my pants,      -this is a line filled with care, or a caring voice
this subtle electric fire you only consider with a smile:
it would be so much easier if you were a man,
they've been playing this game for centuries;
fifteen years is nothing to a Frenchman in Algeria             -these three lines to the end of S are a mystery
or an old consumptive in Venice;
their secret goes beyond love.
 
There's too much bourgeois marriage in our climate          -interesting use of the word climate
that tames our blood.
I'm old enough to be your father
had I been so lucky at fifteen.                                         -this is very endearing
How many you've had already. . . .                                 
 
How you girls' eyes squint and begin to smile like a surfer   -perhaps "squint your eyes"
when your lungs are swimming in smoke;                 
you wouldn't wet your lips if I were drowning in drink,         -a change of emotion enters here, anger maybe
you say you can't trust yourself when you're drunk.
—What does that have to do with me?
My stomach is so big with drink,                                        -
I could also be your mother.
 
No friends, you say, you can't wait
to get away, into a college in a better place,
where there are people you can relate to;
all you know here are of mere acquaintance.                         -perhaps omit "of"
I wonder if you know how that makes me feel,
as smoke blends so into the commonplace we no longer notice it,
and if you did, how much you'd care.                                     -this is verse with experience behind it
 
Well I'm going, I say, if I don't get home
I'll be accused of being out with you . . .
You frown and say, I'll see you. . . . As though to say—Whoever you are.  
And I disappear behind the tree,
where I've always been (and always will be),
until today.                                                                           - I like the end


Hi, rowens
this poem gives a sense of sadness and loneliness, but then strength
that is growing and standing straight up. I hope all's well. It's snowing
here and it looks so beautiful. I hope you find such a beauty to make you
smile and be happy, too. Thank you for the privilege to critique.


-nibbed
there's always a better reason to love
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#3
That's one way of reading it. When I started writing it, it was supposed to be a girl fifteen years younger than the speaker, but before I finished it I realized that it sounded like the speaker was talking to a fifteen year old girl, and since that's a familiar theme with me I decided to go with that angle. . . . The way I worded it could go either way. I considered the word ''choleric'' instead of ''consumptive'' but figured that wouldn't make much sense in the context of the poem despite any direct literary allusion. And the eyes:

When these girls get high, they don't squint their eyes, their eyes squint them. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.
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