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I wanted to end
the week with you.
Then I wondered,
why not begin the night
with you,
and would it be so terrible
if I carried it over
to breakfast
and a cup of something
hot to drink
with you?

—L.L. Barkat, from Love, Etc.

More on Love, Etc.

“Delicate, suggestive, clever.”

—Carl Sharpe, editor at Versewrights

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The Reading

Run your hand over the poem,
and you already know it.

Feel the round of the R to begin;
curl under the opening line and cup
the first y so you can feel its tail
tickling. Run your hand across its side
and gather up the poem,
the cup, the tail and begin down.

You will do this again, but for now
you already know what’s coming
before you know it—
the way I knew I would find you.

I knew the way a hand knows,
before a syllable is spoken.

—L.L. Barkat, author of the fiction-poetry title The Novelist

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beautiful flowers love poem card

photo by Willingham Lindquist

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The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dale and field,
And all the craggy mountains yield.

There will we sit upon the rocks,
And see the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

There I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider’d all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair linèd slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs;
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.

Thy silver dishes for thy meat
As precious as the gods do eat,
Shall on an ivory table be
Prepared each day for thee and me.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.

—Christopher Marlowe

For more Christopher Marlowe love poems, see Complete Poems

Check out this discussion of The Passionate Shepherd to His Love, with author and Classics professor Karen Swallow Prior, at Tweetspeak Poetry.

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blossoms love poem card

photo by Sarah Elwell

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Ontology

She can be a nest.
She’s got the necessary equipment.
Two breasts
you could rest your head between.
She can be a string of pearls,
rounded between your fingers,
as you count the time
between ivory knots.
She is, yes, the artichoke
with the impossible heart
a man might seek for tenderness.
She is the cherry,
containing a center stone
you work around with an agile tongue.
Sometimes she would like to be
just a white dress. Not the satin kind,
but the plain cotton,
with the simple buttons
you’d undo down the back,
wondering how a body hides within
such easy transparency.

—L.L. Barkat, author of the fiction/poetry title The Novelist

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beautiful girl love poem card

photo by Sarah Elwell

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Love and Sleep

Lying asleep between the strokes of night
I saw my love lean over my sad bed,
Pale as the duskiest lily’s leaf or head,
Smooth-skinned and dark, with bare throat made to bite,

Too wan for blushing and too warm for white,
But perfect-coloured without white or red.
And her lips opened amorously, and said –
I wist not what, saving one word – Delight.

And all her face was honey to my mouth,
And all her body pasture to mine eyes;
The long lithe arms and hotter hands than fire,
The quivering flanks, hair smelling of the south,
The bright light feet, the splendid supple thighs
And glittering eyelids of my soul’s desire.

—Algernon Charles Swinburne

For more Algernon Charles Swinburne love poems, see Poems and Ballads

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Rumi love poem card

photo by Kelly Sauer

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Einstein’s Happiest Moment

Einstein’s happiest moment
occurred when he realized
a falling man falling
beside a falling apple
could also be described
as an apple and a man at rest
while the world falls around them.

And my happiest moment
occurred when I realized
you were falling for me,
right down to the core, and the rest,
relatively speaking, has flown past
faster than the speed of light.

— Richard Berlin

For more Richard Berlin poems, see Secret Wounds

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Mortar and pestle love poem quote

photo by Claire Burge

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Replenish

Remind me, would you,
to buy more of the Peach Momotaro,
with its images of waterfalls, lichen-toned
terraces, waves of mountains imprinted
with dots, little white flowers, and mist.
When I drink it, and the steam enters me,
I think of you and the water feels as if
it’s pouring over the mountains.

—L.L. Barkat

This love poem appears in The Novelist. For more on The Novelist, visit Tweetspeak Poetry.

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Ocean love poem card

photo by L.L. Barkat

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16

I lose myself in the space at the base
Of your neck, the wood hollow, a place
Where rainwater collects and birds sing,
The smoothest pool for my longing.

I want to lay my tongue in the groove
Of flesh, below the bone cupola.
I want to stay there and not to move,
To taste your skin of magnolia.

I lose myself in the space at the base
Of your neck, all sense of self erased.

— Dave Malone

For more love poems, see 23 Sonnets. This poem was published in Every Day Poems.

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Love poem card

photo by Kelly Sauer

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