A True Account of Stolen Love

Erin Cone

Love Poems for Valentine’s Day 2017

Dave Awl 

You Won’t Remember This

You won’t remember this but I think I knew I loved you
when you stuck up for me in PE class.
You won’t remember this but I think I knew
I loved you when you borrowed my tie
so we could wear matching outfits
to a drama club party.

You won’t remember this but it was when
you said the word “wonderful.”
You won’t remember this but it was when
you said you liked Niblets corn.
You won’t remember this but it was when
you did your impression of Adam Ant
talking to Grace Jones on a TV commercial.

You won’t remember this but I think I knew I loved you
when I saw you waiting by my locker.
You won’t remember this but there was that time
we were talking in my dorm room and you said
you’d been listening to the Communards
and it made you think of me.

You won’t remember this but there was a rainy day
one spring when I looked out my window
and saw you walking across the quad
in a bright yellow raincoat. And the little matching hat.

You won’t remember this but it was
that night you bought me dinner
at a Thai place in San Francisco
and you said you’d wanted to be either
an architect or a Buddhist monk.

You won’t remember this, but once
on a brave October afternoon,
you picked up a perfect red leaf
from the ground and handed it to me.
I tucked it into one of my notebooks.
Thirty years later, you can’t know
that I still have it, but I do.
It will outlast us both.


Erin Coughlin Hollowell 

Tender and growing night

All summer, no stars.
Now raspberries wasp-

ridden and over-ripe.
Brown burrs grasping

in the long grass.
Even the soil too tired

to hold up blossoms
freighted with the first

cold rains. Darkness swells
again, some small surcease.

I want to dream of the way
my skin became a map,

not a destination,
beneath his fingertips.

Dream of the harmless crashes
our bodies flung together.

Back then the night raw,
split open and looping, I thought,



Amy Strauss Friedman 

Looking Back

“I find too much beauty anxiety-provoking.”
– Sylvère in
I Love Dick

The stupid girl sets to sleep with the spirit
but wakes to the body count,
to the mockingbird that mimics

the loop of the lover’s undiluted absence
and refuses to perch on his swing
because it speaks of vanishing.

She traces chalk outlines in air
of the lilt and lumber of his breath
through the jumble of morning,

drafting a phantom from dust.
She built their home from salt,
from a rendering of a photo of a statue of a person.

A copy of a copy of a copy
birthed their glittering history,
until one of them looked back

to set the future in salt again.
How long should the living forage for bread crumbs
leading back to razed playgrounds?

Or sort the addled paperwork of sodden grief?
Lurching clocks clogged thick by handfuls
of tangled recall hang on her every wall.

She drills the nails into the drywall
by hand, just as the blueprint dictates,
then folds it up to unfurl again tomorrow.

Catherine Moore 

The Way We All Will Leave Behind a True Account of Stolen Love Behavior Without a Title

     in a handprint on the back storm door
     trace the ruin and light in my palm.


Please visit our past Valentine’s Day love-poem features, each of which may lead you down the rabbit hole of love to more love, more poetry, more art! And see more of Erin Cone’s art at the links below and the links in her EIL feature.

Valentine’s Day 2016, Love/Anti-Love 

Love, Itself, 2015 

Escape Into Love, 2014

Men in Love, 2013 

More art by Erin Cone 

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