Author Joseph Heywood
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The Lady I Cannot Have

My heart races, a lump
Forming in my throat like a clot,
Cold sweat beading on the back of my neck,
This thrill
Of an unexpected encounter
With a haunting beauty
my gut tells me is too good
For the likes of a black Irishman
Spawned by river rats from New York
And Mississippi,
I am left to stare open-mouthed like a fool,
my brain swollen with competing words,
no sound coming forth.

I stand mute,
stupid before her lines,
The lustrous sheen of her flesh,
A golden hue
Suggesting a life in the sun
Along a river laden with
Frangiapani by a god
using the palette of a rainbow.

There is something both strong
And delicate about her,
How she might bend in the wind,
Resisting the weight of life
Or go with it, her choice and nature.
I imagine her born
Of the purest mating
Of imagination and passion
Nurtured carefully,
Shaped to become
What I see and cannot have,
My heart telling me
This beauty shall never
Feel my touch
For I am a hopeless flailer,
A flap-dashing pretender on rivers
Unworthy of this cane lady.

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