Every shabby or fantastic fictional love,
On screen or magazine or printed page
Or half-lived life scrawled over many times
Makes me wistful for you-not that they
Carry latent power, or potency at all: no.
It is You, you and love as strong as death
That vindicate the existence of the stories.
By experience new aspects of human nature
Open to me; I see the stories' meaning,
And I grasp, from inside-out,
What it was they meant to be or
Meant to shadow.
For spaces of solitary time they offer
Tinges of bland, imagined ease,
And 'fond imagination' shortly joins their side-
But not for long.
They are too sickly sweet, too full
Of over-dramatic vows and quick conclusion.
One never knows what came of it.
Perhaps Snow White awoke and found
Prince Charming was intolerable after all,
And being no very committed, flesh-and-bones-and-sinew
Sort of princess, left him directly.
One never knows. So presently I shake
My mind and passions fully back awake,
To pain and parting, faith and folly,
Reality and you.