Thorn’s Advice*

You know well you’d have been happy

had you not met her. You had your books,

your studies, the unfading margin of adventure

in a well-traveled world, the yearning

for knowledge. She has circumscribed your life

with these crumbling castle walls—dreams—rot.

Now you fret of rusting unburnished, waiting

for her whistle to call you forth, to shine in use!

Go back to your poets, those ancient masters

of high romance, and be content. Imagine

Rose never loved you. Imagine you can go

through life with this stitched-shut heart,

a pocket of no use, your gray spirit following

knowledge like a sinking star. As if to breathe

were life. Try it.


*stealing shamelessly from Tennyson’s “Ulysses.”


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