Hate Poem

I have tried hard to hate you
 I have tried and tried, in the clean mornings
 and the cleaner nights.

I have written down on a sheet
 A terrible little sheet-

A list of words that you said to me. Like the Deplorable Word
 That C.S. Lewis said had the power to blot out the world.
 There are some words you can not say to anyone you claim to love. 
 You said them all to me. What a trick!

I have desecrated 
 the very memory of you. I have. 
 I’ve torn up, set alight the notes, the innumerable drawings
 The doodle of a ‘love omelette’ -the dear, funny little word. 
 You made eggs painful for me. That anyone could make eggs painful
 would be funny, if it weren’t so painful.

I have hated you to all my friends. I have talked about you in cars;
 I have discussed you on long trips in the fading winter. 
I have held up your cruelty to the light to calculate its seams. 
If it made sense to hurt me in all the ways you did. 
Sense would soothe me.

I have cut you off most absolutely, since this is what the magazines said
 to do. Even if I wanted to find you, I couldn’t. 
 I couldn’t.

I have thought sometimes about making a voodoo doll of you. 
 I would stick pins in it, so many pins. I would put you on a sumptuous rack. 
 I would turn you like a tight goose on a fire. (Afterward, 
 I would bathe you gently in my tears.)

Speaking of crying — I have cried about you in other boys’ beds. 
 You’d like that, wouldn’t you. It would please your rotten heart, 
 with its black and blue pigments.

I hate the fears you have left in me so casually. Who gave you the right 
 To do that, to come into my garden with your wolfish whistle 
 and plant things in it?

Do you know that when I see your profile in other men, I shiver. 
 I used to have very few fears.

I have cited your boyishness as reason to hate you. 
 It is so fixed, like a dark star — nobody can imagine you as a man. 
 You are not a man but a monster, I tell myself. Even monsters suffer.

Perhaps monsters suffer most of all.

I have tried to hate you. I have tried to cast you out. 
 I would call the Pope in the Vatican if I could — the high holy gloaming-
 to cut you out of me. Especially your sweet high voice like a choirboy, 
 I would like it snipped blindly out.

It has been two years and I try to hate you. 
 I tell myself I hate you and I’m doing all right. I live on stubborn and free. 
 The usual sorrows and joys and all that: they are small; easily managed.

It’s only once in a while that I think of you and let myself go completely, running at the speed of light into these

holes of sorrow.

It is quiet inside the 
 holes, and I do not hate you. I never could. (What a trick!) 
You are there with me and we are silent and ceaseless.