First Person Demonstrative

Phyllis Gotlieb

I’d rather
heave half a brick than say
I love you, though I do
I’d rather
crawl in a hole than call you
darling, though you are
I’d rather
wrench off an arm than hug you
it’s what I long to do
I’d rather
gather a posy of poison ivy than
ask if you love me
so if my
hair doesn’t stand on end it’s
it knows its place
and if I
don’t take a bite of your ear
    it’s because
I never tease it
and if my
heart isn’t in my mouth it’s
gristle gripes my guts
and if you
miss the message better get new
glasses and read it twice