The Love Poems

I finally took the trash out, sent that email, and had enough clean dishes to eat a meal at the table but there was no time to write the poem

Before you woke up this morning I slipped into the cool autumn air in search of the perfect metaphor but the poem got stuck in a glass case behind the macaroons at the cafe

I almost wrote the poem on the train on the way here but there was no service so you’ll just have to believe me

I discovered the meaning of life, solved for X, and learned how to tell someone I love them so I tried to write the poem, but then I reckoned I could just love them and have that be the poem

I got enough courage to put the poems on the wall but then I discovered they were all shit so I took a couple days to cry a poem into the comforter

Yesterday I felt like the poem might slip out in a zoom meeting but I never took the opportunity to piggyback off of what you were just saying. Besides, it was more of a comment than a question anyway

I need to write the love poems, I promised myself I would write the love poems

Because if I didn’t write them, no one else would

And I don’t want to write anymore poems hoping they’ll convince you to love me; hoping they’ll make loving me a reasonable task

And I wonder if the universe is trying to tell me to stop by allowing me to continue killing spring flowers

But there has to be a life that’s mine to own.

And sweet as we are, we as we are; we can do nothing but sit around dreaming up all the people we want to love us

And I just don’t have the strength to write the love poems.

To will the flowers to water themselves, no matter whose back is turned and ask before picking the petals 

To wonder where the sky will go when the moon and sun fall, if not the same place as always

To look forward to how the sun will look as it rises, and wonder, if like stars, it has been dying

for as long as we’ve known it

To catch the shooting stars, anoint the dusk before sunrise, consider one another while briefly in-step at the crosswalk

I don’t want to write the love poems.

I want someone to write them for me, to believe that I am worth the pen and the paper

I’m tired of piecing together half words, and head nods, and hoping the poems will materialize in the lack

So if you want the love poems, write them your damn self.



Jay Délise is a writer, theatre artist, and producer based in Harlem, New York. She has performed at The United Nations, The Schomburg Center, The Pulitzer Center, and Carnegie Hall. Her work has been highlighted around the world and in publications including Afropunk, Broadway World, Vagabond City, Glass Poetry Press, and Huffington Post.

Jay is a poet and performance artist, but more importantly, she is black and magic.