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Scheherazade by Richard Siken

Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake
and dress them in warm clothes again.
How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running

until they forget that they are horses.
It’s not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere,
it’s more like a song on a policeman’s radio,
how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days
were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple

to slice into pieces.
Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it’s noon, that means
we’re inconsolable.
Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.

Tell me we’ll never get used to it.

drown in love, just drown

‘We loved people because they were beautiful or witty;

we loved them because they spoke or walked in a certain way

Or because they had a dimple in exactly the right place;

we loved them because they loved us, or, sadly, because they did not love us

We loved them because they had a way of looking at things, or because there was a certain light in their eyes that reminded us of the sunlight you saw caught in a rock pool on a Hebridean Island;

or because they wore a kilt or black jeans or a Shetland sweater…

Or played the guitar or knew how to make bread or were kind to us and tolerated us and our stubborn refusal to stop loving them.

There were so many reasons for loving somebody; so many; and it made no sense to sit about and think about whether it was a good idea

Because love was like a bolt of lightning that came from a great cumulonimbus cloud that was far too great for us to blow it away;

And it struck and we just had to accept it and get on with the business of surviving this great longing within us

Like a swell in the sea, one of those great rolling waves that comes in off the Atlantic to hit Ardnamurchan Head

that can’t be fought Because fighting love like that was hopeless and you should just go under and let it wash over you and hope that when you come out from under the wave you would still be breathing and that you would not have drowned, as people could drown in love, just drown.’


– Alexander McCall Smith (via @storiesfromacity)