The whole truth

Clichés tumble out of lovers’ minds
Like bargains at a jumble sale.
All the scraps they think are ‘finds’
Are hand-me-downs whose colors paled.

New lovers walk around in rags
No decent mum would have her kids in:
Straight, or bi, or screaming fag,
There is no haute couture of loving.

Unseemly, smelly, dirty things
No civil person does, or has;
Turgid, horrid, lumpy limbs;
Quantities of juice and gas—

These are what must be endured
For seconds of a feeble pleasure.
Lasting joy is not assured
By love’s insipid, tawdry treasures.

This poem was originally published in Overland Number 1, 1996.
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