Thursday, December 8, 2016

"Love as an Act of Faith" by David Pring-Mill, Frequent Contributor

Love as an Act of Faith
David Pring-Mill

I record my story in this poem.
I find your version
on my shirt, hidden inside
the smell of perfume,
its natural sweetness.
My striped shirt looked loose
on your delicate shoulders.
And now I'll slip into
moments made with words
and floral prints.

I dream with you naked.
Together, this tinted memory
occurs near an open window,
with errors and breezes
flowing in and out
of the room.
I remember your soft voice,
so comforting
like the pillow on which we slept.
And when we reconfigured,
my chest was your pillow.
You always spoke in accidental
melodies and you are still
the promise of hope
and beautiful emotion
blooming within me
from roots problematic.

If there was sadness in my soul, it is
evaporation, up above
these ancient brick structures
and the old lake and mist-making falls.
If there is joy animating my smiles
and awakening me,
it is from
the spark of you,
and when you smile
your head tilts up and your eyes shine
as if to feed my faith.

When you describe me, it is
in poetic terms, though
you never said you are the poet.
With art and romance you tell me
my eyes have green spots
"and mostly they are brown,
like maple syrup… or honey"
and you say that,
as we enjoy our coffees
and realize how much
we are in love.

Poet's Notes:  I wrote this poem for a girlfriend. I wanted to keep the feelings preserved within a simple style. I thought that verbosity would detract from the subject matter, and I valued the purity of emotion here over any sophistication of expression. Although the poem includes specific references to memories I shared with my girlfriend, I believe that most readers will be able to conjure up similar recollections, of physical comforts and affectionate whisperings shared over coffees. By drawing upon these collective impressions I hope that the poem will affect people directly and purely.

The poem also hints at its setting in a somewhat mythic way, which again is reflective of my unique memories paired with a cultivated ambiguity. It is my hope that the vague, imagistic brushstrokes will provide a sense of common ownership over the narrative, so that all couples can see themselves here. The title "Love as an Act of Faith" is only referenced briefly in the actual verse but I thought that the sentiment would be self-explanatory and would also setup an overarching philosophy for the simplicity and feeling that follows.

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