What to Say Upon Being Asked to Be Friends By Julian Talamantez Brolaski

Why speak of hate, when I do bleed for love?
Not hate, my love, but Love doth bite my tongue
Till I taste stuff that makes my rhyming rough
So flatter I my fever for the one
For whom I inly mourn, though seem to shun.
A rose is arrows is eros, so what
If I confuse the shade that I’ve become
With winedark substance in a lover’s cup?
But stop my tonguely wound, I’ve bled enough.
If I be fair, or false, or freaked with fear
If I my tongue in lockèd box immure
Blame not me, for I am sick with love.
     Yet would I be your friend most willingly
     Since friendship would infect me killingly.
Julian T. Brolaski, "What to Say Upon Being Asked to Be Friends" from Advice for Lovers, City Lights Spotlight No. 7. Copyright © 2012 by Julian T. Brolaski.  Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books.

Source: Advice for Lovers (City Lights Books, 2012)