That time I thought I was in love and calmly said so
was not much different from the time I was truly in love
and slept poorly and spoke out loud to the wall
and discovered the hidden genius of my hands.
And the times I felt less in love, less than someone,
were, to be honest, not so different either.
Each was ridiculous in its own way and each was tender, yes,
sometimes even the false is tender.
I am astounded by the various kisses we’re capable of.
Each from different heights diminished, which is simply the law.
And the big bruise from the longer fall looked perfectly white in a few years.
That astounded me most of all.
– Stephen Dunn
[quoted by Millie Getachew in an email conversation about love and beauty on March 5, 2008]