I want you to feel
the unbearable lack of me.
I want your skin
to yearn for the soft lure of mine;
I want those hints of red
on your canvas
to deepen in passion for me:
I want you to keep
stubbing your toe
on the memory of me;
I want your head to be dizzy
and your stomach in a spin;
I want you to hear my voice
in your ear, to touch your face
imagining it is my hand.
I want your body to shiver and quiver
at the mere idea of mine.
I want you to feel as though
life after me is dull, and pointless,
and very, very aggravating,
and that with me you were lifted
on a current you waited all your life to find,
and had despaired of finding,
as though you were wading
through a soggy swill of inanity and ugliness
every minute we are apart.
I want you to drive yourself crazy
with the fantasy of me,
and how we will meet again, against all odds,
and there will be tears and flowers,
and the vast relief of not I,
I am haunting your dreams,
conducting these fevers
from a distance,
a distance that leaves me weeping,
Katie Donovan is a contemporary Irish poet.
This poem has no bearing on my current romantic life, but the other day Andy and I and another friend were talking about some of our more disastrous moments in love and the conversation made me think of this poem. When you’re in love with someone it’s incredibly hard to accept that they don’t love you back. For me, this poem encapsulates our desire for the beloved to feel the same way that we do, even though we know, really, that they don’t.