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Guest Poet Robin Schuetz

About Love

Give me a moment with my thumbs on the
small of your back and my knees, my thighs
pressed against bare skin, where my tongue
clicks on the roof of my mouth and a
grin widens my face. There I will
show you how to neologize my name,
massage from your reality new meaning.

Let me teach you how to braid my hair so it
tangles in the crease of your palm, when the
drought passes and you need an anchor,
spread sheets on a bed so Egyptian suns burn your
face. Turned to the lamp on our nightstand, you
swear you can hear a lapping Nile when I
whisper I love you across desert winds.

Pray with me at the foot of the Alps in the
morning while the air is still crisp, while I
tell you all the glory I am is sacrificed upon your
altar, so you canít refuse the offering of my
eyes ¨ my edelweiss ¨ when a warm drop of rain
runs down your cheek and melts the winter of a
stone I know had to temper its heat to be alive.

Be alive with me! in the hollow of
breast where my perfume sings Parisian street
songs, in the pull of my breath, of the ocean
tides, in the hush of just before volcanic
duty when I cry your name on a dark night. It
will be a new name, and everything about
love will change you.

October, 2001

Robin Schuetz's questions:

1) I have been told that some of the images in this poem are too obscure. (For instance, the stone, representing the heart.) How do you feel about the strength of the various images in this poem and how they are presented?

2) In the last line of Stanza 2, I am considering reversing the phrases so the line reads "whisper across desert winds I love you". Which version do you feel achieves a better flow?

3) The vocabulary, sentence structure, and rhythm (particularly in Stanza 4) were carefully chosen not only to create the tone and mood, but even to gently allow the reader to experience the mood physically through consonant and vowel formations, as well as breathing patterns. How well do you feel the poem accomplishes this goal?

4) Obviously a love poem, this piece focuses on a very specific interpretation of love. This idea is tied together in the first and the fourth stanzas, contrasted against certain negative elements in Stanzas 2 & 3, drawing a definitive conclusion in the last two lines. I would like to know if you clearly see this interpretation. Please tell me what you believe this poem says ABOUT LOVE.

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