1. It’s love we’ll make
over and again,
in sprawling dreams,
wishes, in nights spent
I’ll caress you in sentences,
in simple poetry,
in song. I’ll raise your
breath to a frenzy,
with promises, with
It’s love we’ll make,
until these hands
– Tyler Knott Gregson
2. Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
3. I am yours as the summer air at evening is
Possessed by the scent of linden blossoms,
As the snowcap gleams with light
Lent it by the brimming moon.
Without you I’d be an unleafed tree
Blasted in a bleakness with no Spring.
Your love is the weather of my being.
What is an island without the sea?
4. that’s it
that I walked into the cafe
and in the noise and crowd
and that I saw
what it was I’d been
in what it was
that in our skin
in the decade of our skin
is what began
before we knew
and that time before
with this time now
waiting to start again
– Edwin Torres
— 5th of 25 Love Poems for Her
5. There’s too little time left to measure
the space between us for that was
long ago—that time—so just lie
under the dark blue quilt and put
the fat pillows with the blue slips
on the great windowsill so we can
look over them and down to the
small figures hurrying by
in total silence and think of the heat
up here and the cold down there
while I turn the light off with the right
hand and gather you in close with the wrong.
6. You’re one in a million, my most special one;
Your radiant smile is as bright as the sun;
You’re smart and caring and have many great charms,
And my heart really sings when you’re wrapped in my arms.
I’m happy you chose me from all of the rest,
And I’m proud ’cause I know that I got the best.
You’re so cute and sweet, and you glow like a pearl;
I just love you so much, my most wonderful girl!
– Karl Fuchs
7. somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose
or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
– E. E. Cummings
8. This much the gods vouchsafe today:
That we two lie in the clover,
Watching the heavens dip and sway,
With galleons sailing over.
This much is granted for an hour:
That we are young and tender,
That I am bee and you are flower,
Honey-mouthed and swaying slender.
This sweet of sweets is ours now:
To wander through the land,
Plucking an apple from its bough
To toss from hand to hand.
No thing is certain, joy nor sorrow,
Except the hour we know it;
Oh, wear my heart today; tomorrow
Who knows where the winds will blow it?
– Countee Cullen
9. Ask me why I love you, dear,
And I will ask the rose
Why it loves the dews of Spring
At the Winter’s close;
Why the blossoms’ nectared sweets
Loved by questing bee,—
I will gladly answer you,
If they answer me.
Ask me why I love you, dear,
And I will ask the flower
Why it loves the Summer sun,
Or the Summer shower;
I will ask the lover’s heart
Why it loves the moon,
Or the star-besprinkled skies
In a night in June.
Ask me why I love you, dear,
I will ask the vine
Why its tendrils trustingly
Round the oak entwine;
Why you love the mignonette
Better than the rue,—
If you will but answer me,
I will answer you.
Ask me why I love you, dear,
Let the lark reply,
Why his heart is full of song
When the twilight’s nigh;
Why the lover heaves a sigh
When her heart is true;
If you will but answer me,
I will answer you.
-Walter Everette Hawkins
— 10th of 25 Love Poems for Her
10. You looked inside
For what the perishable flesh might hide;
And now you say that inner part
Will represent her in my heart.
I tell you no.
Philosopher, I say I loved her so
I did not dig within—content
When seasons came, when seasons went.
When she would frown,
You think I set the meaning of it down?
The meaning goes; but something stays
I shall have with me all my days—
Her forehead bare
One instant, then blown over by her hair;
A sudden turn; her hand at rest
Upon a window toward the west. .
-Mark Van Doren
11. My bed may not be as large
As California or have a blanket
As deep as the ocean.
But it’s comfy and shares
The same view as if we were there.
When I am asleep with you,
Everything becomes ideal.
One of the best feelings the universe
To discover a slice of heaven beside you.
A spoon finding it’s way
To the big dipper, in the same
Lineage of how I see you.
We stargaze with our eyes closed,
Watching the stars bloom like flowers
In complete comfort.
The urge to explore further,
A simple look, a simple smirk
Head nestled deep in a pillow.
The aspirations of becoming an astronaut
Become that much clearer.
I blast off & everything becomes dark
My reflection staring at yours beneath mine,
Until I see your face spread wide
Across the moon.
Happy and safe,
My voyage is now complete
– Kawayne Wadley
12. Who thankless flees me, I with love pursue,
Who loving follows me, I thankless flee;
To him who spurns my love I bend the knee,
His love who seeks me, cold I bid him rue;
I find as diamond him I yearning woo,
Myself a diamond when he yearns for me;
Who slays my love I would victorious see,
While slaying him who wills me blisses true.
To favor this one is to lose desire,
To crave that one, my virgin pride to tame;
On either hand I face a prospect dire,
Whatever path I tread, the goal the same:
To be adored by him of whom I tire,
Or else by him who scorns me brought to shame.
13. I climbed a mountain and the air constricted breathing—
the terrain of the free spirit, that creature
so dedicated to surmounting that the mountain,
its hanging glacier, its granite slabs cut through
by the trail, its heaps of rocks blocking reasonable
access to the turquoise lake beneath, its wildflowers
with their fraying lackadaisical paintbrushes,
went by in my eyes so quickly I never truly left
the not-yet-turning aspens, carved by local lovers
who loved themselves so much they stayed right
there with their knives until they finished their names.
14. To find a kiss of yours
what would I give
A kiss that strayed from your lips
dead to love
My lips taste
the dirt of shadows
To gaze at your dark eyes
what would I give
Dawns of rainbow garnet
fanning open before God—
The stars blinded them
one morning in May
And to kiss your pure thighs
what would I give
Raw rose crystal
sediment of the sun
-Fredrico Garcia Lorca
— 15th of 25 Love Poems for Her
15. When you turned into a hundred rooms,
I returned each month as a door
that opened only one.
When you turned into a hundred rooms
the wind flung through
each of them wailing
and left a hundred songs
in hopes you would return for it
and me and
once, finding a doe locked up,
the trees blued up
the mountain pass, I understood
you had transformed into your multiple,
as the rain is different
each step from the moon. Sleeping
in a hundred rooms, a hundred dreams
of you appear—though by day
your voice has frozen into standing stones.
When you turned into a hundred rooms,
I met with a mirror in each eye
your growing absence.
When I moved, the shadows without you
followed me. In the hundred rooms,
I cannot pick one,
for each combines into the other
where I piece-by-piece the shadows
you have ceased
to remember. As the rain
is different each day of the year,
when I turned for you
and hoped you’d return to me,
was it I who left
and you who remained the same?
For when you changed,
the furniture in the rooms.
A hundred birds flew over a hundred fields.
A mountain flowed into a hundred rivers
In a hundred rooms,
I turned and turned,
hoping to return to you.
O, the chrysanthemums grew
in the hundred rooms!
Far in the past and far in the future
were those numinous and echoing stars.
16. Out of your whole life give but a moment!
All of your life that has gone before,
All to come after it,—so you ignore,
So you make perfect the present,—condense,
In a rapture of rage, for perfection’s endowment,
Thought and feeling and soul and sense—
Merged in a moment which gives me at last
You around me for once, you beneath me, above me—
Me—sure that despite of time future, time past,—
This tick of our life-time’s one moment you love me!
How long such suspension may linger? Ah, Sweet—
The moment eternal—just that and no more—
When ecstasy’s utmost we clutch at the core
While cheeks burn, arms open, eyes shut and lips meet!
17. whisper of yellow globes
gleaming on lamp-posts that sway
like bootleg licker drinkers in the fog
and let your breath be moist against me
like bright beads on yellow globes
telephone the power-house
that the main wires are insulate
(her words play softly up and down
dewy corridors of billboards)
then with your tongue remove the tape
and press your lips to mine
till they are incandescent
– Jean Toomer
18. Do you still remember: falling stars,
how they leapt slantwise through the sky
like horses over suddenly held-out hurdles
of our wishes—did we have so many?—
for stars, innumerable, leapt everywhere;
almost every gaze upward became
wedded to the swift hazard of their play,
and our heart felt like a single thing
beneath that vast disintegration of their brilliance—
and was whole, as if it would survive them!
-Rainer Maria Rilke
19. Out of the depths of a heart of love,
Out of the birth-place of sighs,
Freighted with hope and freighted with fear,
My all in a valentine, hies.
Oh, frail little missive
Of delicate texture,
Speed thee, on thy journey,
And give her a lecture!
Fathom her heart, that seems to me, cold,
Trouble her bosom, as mine,
Let it be mutual, this that I crave,
Her ‘yes’ for a valentine.
Oh, frail little missive,
In coy Cupid’s keeping,
Oh! speed back a message,
To set my pulse leaping.
-Priscilla Jane Thompson
— 20th of 25 Love Poems for Her
20. The sky tonight, so without aliens. The woods, very lacking
in witches. But the people, as usual, replete
with people. & so you, with your headset, sit
in the home office across the hall, stuck in a hell
of strangers crying, computers dying, the new
father’s dropped-in-toilet baby
photos, the old Canadian, her grandson Gregory,
all-grown-up-now Greg, who gave her this phone
but won’t call her. You call her
wonderful. You encourage her to tell you what’s wrong
with her device. You with your good-at-your-job
good-looking-ness, I bet even over the phone
it’s visible. I bet all the Canadian grandmas
want you, but hey, you’re with me. Hey, take off
that headset. Steal away from your post. Cross
the hall, you sings-the-chorus-too-soon, you
played-tennis-in-college-build, you Jeffrey, you
Jeff-ship full of stars, cauldron full of you,
come teach me a little bit
of nothing, in the dark
21. The eye chews the apple,
sends the brain
an image of the un-apple. Which is similar
to the way I throw my voice
like a Frisbee, like salt
over a shoulder, a birthday party
where someone’s brother
is grilling hot dogs, a little speed
in his blood,
some red balloons. The eye
is the most deceptive
organ in the body.
Followed closely by the hand,
which refuses to accept
that touch comes down
to the repulsion of electrons,
so that when I hold
the hand of the person I love,
mostly I am pushing
him away. Which has something to do
with the striking resemblance
between a bag
of individually wrapped candies
and the human heart.
The sticky glass
of their shattering. How love
can crack like a tooth
kissing a sidewalk,
the way right now someone’s car leapfrogs
a sidewalk, her body
making love to the windshield
the windshield. And still the fireflies glow
with their particular sorrow.
The police tape
separating the mind from everything
that is not the mind
proves imaginary. My eyes
find the face
of the person I love
and pull out their fork and knife.
Of a great need
We are all holding hands
Not loving is a letting go.
The terrain around here
23. My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
24. Or sometimes watched drifting with the leaves,
some last confetti of yellow or brown. Or it existed
the way the juncos huddled beneath the thistle
feeder in winter, in the way the clouds spilled water
in May to soak the ground. Once we found it
in the attic in a steamer trunk, and another time
we closed it in a suitcase and drove it across
the countryside to Ohio. And often we imagined that
the years were a locked door against which
we kept knocking to be admitted. And on the dresser
of the new house, I spilled the change of the marriage
into a heap, and later we sat on the back porch and watched
the nuptial clouds on their conveyor belts. And we slept
at night with the breaths of the marriage around us.
— 25th of 25 Love Poems for Her
25. Somewhere someone rises
far earlier than you before
the faintest glimmer blues
the darkest dark wakens
without alarm without body
roused by the nightingales
neighbor friend or stranger
who hasn’t seen his sunlit
children faces a cold sink
oh caffeinated sleepwalker
march daily industry with
necessity down one flight
then up two is heaven in
someone warm beside you
-Joseph O. Legaspi
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