Sick

Or,

The Anti-Love

BY DR. AGONSON

How terrible to fall in love!
How like sickness it takes us!
First in the stomach it may grow
—a germinating weakness—
only to spread into our limbs,
a certain limpness lending,
and dread, as well taking the tongue;
no hope to find in that end.
Think you winged Eros I accuse?
His darts can little hurt me,
nor doth my wrath involve storge
from whom I’ve known much kindness;
I cannot speak against the four,
and little claim the others
as really having ever known.
I speak of something different.
I love a thing I cannot hope
reciprocates my fire.
It is a place. It is a thought.
How can I draw it here with
my meager, blunt, dumb metrical
attempts? As good if ‘twere mute.

The thing is a passion in me,
and so I say it is love.
I’m fevered at the thought of it;
I tremble and quake and groan.
My only thought is how can I
express to the world this love.
I will infect those whom I can;
I will spread this foul disease.
O you embrace, readers, embrace,
if I may be a vector,
this potent, overriding thing,
and join in this state of woe.

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