This weeks' tandem poetry  - "what they don't tell you about love" - is brought to you from writers in Boulder (2 of them!), Colorado; Amherst, Massachusetts; Washington, DC; Cleveland, Georgia; Albemarle, North Carolina; and Centennial Park, Arizona, among others.

. . .

what they don't tell you about love
by Nancy Levin
 
he insisted upon everything being
clean and neat and showered and fresh
but what they don’t tell you about love is
that there can’t possibly be any chemistry
between disinfected bodies.
what they don’t tell you about love is
precisely what i’ve come to learn about real love:
the messier it is the better.
boldly slap and harness the scent and taste of risk
as it bites digs drips swallows and rides us alive.

. . . 

What they don’t tell you about love
by Jeff McClenahan
 
The Chia Pet was my greatest teacher,
hiding the guarantee of growth
under a pad of mold.
Something, unexpected, did grow
if you were willing to see.
Your parents couldn’t explain.
They don’t tell you about the unexpected,
the reward of the unscripted,
the vitality of surprise.
They don’t tell you this about love either.

. . .

What they don't tell you about love
by Randi Stein

What they don't tell you about love is
after the kisses and the tenderness,
after the I do's and the promises of forever,
after the poems and the plans and the adventures and the children
Something changes.
Love is a new color
no longer rose and sunny yellow but
sea-deep green
and even night-blue
what's changed is not only love, but you.

. . .

what they don’t tell you about love
by Beandrea July
 

She complains about pay freezes and the end of free bottled water, and then says,

“I dare not complain. I am blessed. I have a job.” There isn’t time to say both are true, both are one. The complaints and the blessings. I see how the depressed person in me is the one closest to god, the one who compels me to write.The one who is happy all the time is not real. I have tried to be her. I am grateful. For the warm, cool weather, the last bits of snow, for the Library of Congress with or without bottled water. For that thing in me which pushes and pulls, persists and goes into hiding, and thrives on occasion. This is love. A wild unwieldy mass constantly being sifted, falling back to Earth like rain, touching our skin, being windshield wiped. Always there, but almost never in the same form. Often blind to us.

. . .

What They Don't Tell you About Love
by Marlene Eubanks
 
Ask Martin Sheen,
did he bargain for Charlie?
Ask Charlie
did he bargain for what he got?
That's what they don't tell you.
Love is no bargain, at any price,
lowest to highest, endless,
hard work, blisters, and ethics
that stretch everything
to well worn roles.

. . .

What they don’t tell you about love
by PL Byrd

Love is smooth off a rough tongue
And heavy in a light lie.
Love is smooth and heavy
Say it
Smooth. Heavy.

Love is a glottal stop
An uh-oh word
Air ceases to circulate while
Making light the back-breaking flight
To love.

. . .

What They Don’t Tell You About Love
by Susan Timpson

They don’t tell you about love, no one does.
It’s a Pandora’s Box of impish delusion
Warted with ache, knurled with quarrel.
Fragmented misunderstanding.
Yet, when unrepentant pixies ploy,
Fabled Hope sparks, her wings awaken stirrings unjarred.
Service and Desire run deep as the rivers.
Breath and beat in unison chorus
Held then released
Cathartic.

. . .

What They Don’t Tell You About Love
by Susan Kinne

It is easier to fit the clean mechanics of intercourse into an organized curriculum.  My twelve year old daughter, who is taking sex-ed, says: “they don’t tell you anything about love.” Love is the poetic domain of more elusive gods.  The desert days of my own broken adolescence showed me that love can make madness of beauty. Much later, I discovered that love can make beauty of madness. What should we tell our children of love, of the sum of who they are? That it is both life jacket and albatross? That it must be spent freely to be invested? I would like to convince them to first love their own fragile hearts with the equanimity of the ocean’s waves. Beyond unpaid bills and demanding schedules, the moon watches us, held in orbit by the gravity of our waxing love. How many times must we turn our backs to the rising tide before we slip into quiet rowboats and paddle out toward the watery, shimmering light of our heart’s calling?

. . .

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