What is this thing called love
that tangles our hair, untidies our thoughts,
stains our hands
and lips and fills our journals
with incoherent scribble?

How old must we be to have put love
in its small box, hoovered it out of our minds,
opened insurance against its loss
and forsaken the need for the taste
and smell of it?

What is this thing called life
that oozes out of us, fills oceans with fish,
inspires poems, 
and fears love 
more than the loss of itself?

Was it God or some celestial
programmer, who’d guessed we’d need 
a better cause to die than sliding off the edge,
immaculate
and grey?

What is this thing called time
that pushes us through life and takes away
our love, bit by bit
like a thief, leaving us
empty?

How old must we be 
to have untangled meaning, wrenched it out
of our minds, stuffed it into things on the mantlepiece 
above the place
where our fires used to burn?

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