masonic nuptials make for acrobatic feats,
the execution of which I cannot quite
congratulate you on

true, I generally profess
for no greater yearning than to
be-hold—that is, not to touch—
a trinket of happiness no larger
than your heart

in all the lectures I bestow, no meaning
sings forth more adamantly
than my wish to see you

strangely, my own ears have yet to witness
you admit - even in an echo—
the like back to me.

It is not for lack of romanticism;
all your unlived years are filled with
sunburnt roses, sunny sands, and
cerulean beaches.

I think, rather, that you
are uncertain; for to say
that you [wish] for my happiness
will inadvertently bare
you open

like an oyster, the sun prying
apart its shell, revealing the glint
of its pearl, while the gulls
gormandize the enveloping flesh

vulnerability you cannot bear, not even
for me
and so, if you would profess nothing, then
neither shall I;
and every girl that you mention, every
wanton woman you make infectious with your charm
will not be my rival.
how could they be? they
are my stand-ins
for though you confess it not,
it has been long since your eyes
saw anyone but I .