Love Bird

My bird since you left I have loved strangely
I have been various
A man came                  There was something wrong with him
His eye whites shone like teacups                 He was not usual
I might have conjured him                            He took my hand
He kissed my hand, yes, okay                            Girl: he spoke
Love cannot live by these laws         (he intoned this)
His stories were mostly warnings
I am love’s crooked detour, he said
Look at me
He had my face in his hands and I couldn’t not look
He pried my eyes open     I saw him changing               Lover:

Love was not one thing it took many shapes
I mistook
its presence     I worshipped it sometimes     other times I ran
I called it names I starved it till my ribs were a grand birdcage
Love was no bird

from Dear Boy (Faber, 2013), © Emily Berry 2013, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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