Love poisons me, but the harsh pangs I feel
are safely measured, a non-fatal dose.
It will not break my heart, just bring me close
To mortal passion. If I seem to steal
Affection, and give little in return-
a touch, a kiss perhaps – and never hold
you tight with lust, it’s partly that I’m old
and you are far too young. In truth, I burn
but not, alas, for you. Each verse I write
Sears like the icy splinter in my heart
Yet leaves no mark on skin. My traitor art
is cold to you, but keeps me warm at night.
Each verse of love I speak burns in my throat
– sharp poison, and its only antidote.