i am afraid to write you a love poem

if it were to be so, it would be one full of

commas and semi-colons, and that birthplace

of most excitement, the exclamation point


if i were to write you a love poem

it would be something green and new

splattered with courtesies and anxieties which

unfounded be (as most doubt likes to do)


if i were in love i should be sure of it before

i punctuated it with hyphens and ellipses

and (if i were feeling dangerous) would drop

more than one ampersand


if i were to write you a love poem, it would be

when i fell in love with you, but as that time

would wait to come, and not necessarily so, i would now

hesitate to place that most final mark of love -

the one that asks a question


as if saying

'do go on'