NOR 19 #32: Here’s My Love Poem

By James Lineberger

Featured Art: Flowers from the Mesa, by Mary Vaux Walcott

If I didn’t love you
would I stand
there holding the car door so you
don’t hit yourself in
the head with it no I could just
step back and let it
happen and who would know the difference

except me cause you wouldn’t
remember what
went on anyway and when
we finally hobble inside Hardee’s with you
holding on for dear life until
I get you seated while
I order and then I surprise you by
bringing us a couple of cinnamon raisin
biscuits you think if I didn’t
love you I would sit there unprotesting while
you ignore your bacon and eggs
and gobble down both cinnamons dripping
the icing all over your fingers
and brand new sweater
you insatiable self-centered helpless child
what else to do but
dip a napkin in my water cup and wash your hands
until you start to cry saying why
don’t you just leave me I’m not worth anything to anybody
and I say me too

James Lineberger wrote the book and lyrics for the rock opera, The Survival of Saint Joan. His screen adaptation for the Devery Freeman novel Father Sky was filmed by Twentieth Century Fox as “Taps.” His poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Berkeley Poetry Review, Verdad, Exquisite Corpse, Boulevard, Hanging Loose, New York Quarterly, Ontario Review, Oxford Magazine, Pembroke Magazine, Sonora Review, Seneca Review, The Cortland Review, Texas Review, and Verse.

Originally published in Issue 19.

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