Poem 303 ± April 2, 2016

Charles Jensen

For years we’d been
rapt in each other,

the way love is; corrupted
in the sense errors were made,

errors we could not
call such until they’d

passed us like a car driving
too fast for conditions,

the kind you’d see
three miles ahead wrapped

around a tree trunk,
tender as child and mother,

love in the way one shape
defined the other. Disruption

is the pulling apart of two
dependent lives. A rupture

but I didn’t know it until it was
too late. Everything we’d placed

inside those years spilled out
like blood escaping from a vein.

Love, my friends, should never
be entrusted to the heart, whose job

is to push away the only thing
the world will ever offer it.


Charles JensenCharles Jensen is the author of The Nanopedia Quick-Reference Pocket Lexicon of Contemporary American Culture (MiPOESIAS Chapbook Series, 2012) and The First Risk (Lethe Press, 2009), a finalist for the 2010 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. His previous chapbooks include Living Things, winner of the 2006 Frank O’Hara Chapbook Award, and The Strange Case of Maribel Dixon (New Michigan Press, 2007). A recipient of an Artist’s Project Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Charles’s poetry has appeared in BLOOM, Columbia Poetry Review, Copper Nickel, Field, The Journal, New England Review, and Prairie Schooner. He lives in Los Angeles.

This poem is not previously published.