Metaphors and I love you

Illustration of skeleton and heart
Betsy Siegal/Staff

That moment 

When your chest swells

Your mind swirls 

And something compels you 

To say those three special words 

 

But you can’t say them in that moment 

Or the next one

Or the next

And for now, that’s OK 

“I love you” can be said 

In more than one way 

 

Allow poetry to guide

Beyond simplicity

Through synchronicity

Between figure of speech

And passions we preach

 

For the metaphor exists 

Where other words go astray 

 

You are like

You are like words I cannot speak

But not because I’m speechless

More from the mapping of a measure

When ends of feeling are reachless 

 

You are like music to the ear 

My name on your tongue 

Speaking like you’ve danced 

With the skeletons in my closet 

 

You are like a dandelion 

Kissed by the breeze

I would turn the Anemoi  

To carry you back to me 

 

You are like the peace of midnight 

When dreams flood the mind 

I want to do with you 

What stars do with the sky 

 

You are like photographed memories

Small pictures with names

Giving depths to zeal

Within each frame

 

You are as

You are as frustrating as the light 

That wrestles with the darkness 

Coming and going 

When I need you to stay 

 

You are as close to my heart 

As the cage of my rib 

Tendons strum the tune 

Of heartbeat you give

 

You are as piercing as the rain 

Falling after a drought 

And seeping down to the root 

Where the life in me stems 

 

You are as cleansing as the baptism 

Which washes away sin 

In these waters I may drown 

Until you promise I can swim 

 

You are as near to me 

As setting sun to horizon 

I sail ends of the world 

To fall 

Without a second thought 

 

You are

Heaven in a hellfire 

Solace to the mourning 

Graceful Sunday morning

Playwright to the stage light

Music to a dancer 

The answer 

Without question 

 

Some might think

This is all romantic propaganda

But it is simply 

You

 

You

Of all of the metaphors 

I could give

No word compares to

“You” 

 

Metaphor and after 

What would poetry be 

Without 

Realigned universes 

Passions in the wind 

Oceans of emotions 

Intimacy in whispers

Muse from the art 

 

For one, verse would be more literal 

But there is no substitute for the real  

Quite like the metaphorical

 

Prose 

Poses a limit

When poetry’s metrics 

Compose epics 

Lyrics 

Ballads 

And rhyme 

The most elegant elixirs

For the love of all time

 

And so

When the poet and the metaphor 

Rendezvous with “I love you”

The metaphor speaks 

After everything has been spoken.

Adriana Temprano is chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee and an opinion copy chief. Contact her at [email protected]