First Love Lost
Is love learnt, like arithmetic,
or practised in endless repeat like a tune
played to perfection, fingered on a flute
with sharp little notes that catch the ear
and hang long and tender like a dangling
bobbled pearl. Or is love slender, like a wisp
of hair that floats in whispers through the air,
slipping away under gaps below locked doors.
Or are we born to love, like we are born
to laugh, to breathe or blink or cry. It was not
necessary that you teach me to cry, to howl,
to weep; I already knew how to do that.