The DMQ Review

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Bob Dornberg 2003

It is hard to understand how we could be brought here by love.
                        —Jack Gilbert

When Torvald tells Nora he would not sacrifice
his honor for love's sake, she understands

that love's tarantella has spun her
into inconceivable circumstances,

her only choice to walk away, shut the door.
But there were tender Christmases, carriage

rides along deserted lanes, the promises written
on onion skins they floated on the river,

and after the door shudders in the frame,
surely, she wonders how it came to this.

Limmerant light blinds lovers; they cannot see
where they set their feet. By the time the angle of light

changes, truth sets in, they are well down the path:
Bonnie following Clyde, Adam, following Eve.

It doesn't have to be a person — Goodall, roaming
the Gombe, could tell you that.

Love trundles us into churches, ovens, war,
onto stages, gurneys, beds of nails, into caves,

straightjackets, graves. Love of fire, climbing, risk, stars,
of country, single malt scotch, tools. Always the look

of shock, the dazed face of the refugee. The worst
of course is when we stop to look into a pool,

end up loving what we see, waste to an empty stalk
on the bank, while cries echo from caves, "Come here."

Lynn Pattison
Copyright 2003

Lynn Pattison lives in Michigan. Her work has appeared in Rattle, The Comstock Review, The MacGuffin, Out of Line, Peregrine, and the Mid-American Poetry Review, among others. She is a 2003 recipient of an Irving S. Gilmore
Emerging Artist Grant.

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