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Love Is Always a Hypothetical Phenomenon
 by David Matthews

it wasn't my fault none of it I swear!
it was the way the moon clung to the trees
one night in August while we walked
through darkness that touched your skin
like something mysterious and tropical
and I saw colors in your hair
clowns juggling amulets
and silver waters there
you know how I tried
I wanted to give you everything
I gave you roses in the snow
but the snow melted in spring
and the roses faded into air . . .
so I gave you my baseball cards
and a cow skull from Yugoslavia
and I took you to the secret park
where I go alone and think of triangles
and Visigoths
and Harpo Marx
and you because you are kind
accepted my gifts, pretended to understand
but nothing ever touched your heart
not even the bottle cap I found on the subway in New York City
nor my cast iron pig nor my pieces of string
nothing, nada
now spring has come again
and I am left only the idiot's solitary laughter

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