Maggie Smith

Love Poem


What can I give you? You have plenty
of seas, seven at last count, and another

version of yourself beneath them, unseen:
doppelganger caves and mountains,

the tallest secret ranges not for climbing.
Besides, I can’t make you a sea

or fill each transparent wave with equally
transparent fish. I can’t assemble

a forest or populate the trees with birds.
You have all the cranes you could want,

feathered or folded from paper. Look,
I have these two babies—but you?

You have more children than you can feed,
more than you can keep alive. Every day

you lose thousands, gain thousands.
No wonder the numbers mean nothing.

You need more than I or anyone can give.
But, fool that I am, I love you. I’m hot

for you. Here, warm your hands by the fire.
I made it with myself and a match.

Maggie Smith is the author of Weep Up (Tupelo Press, forthcoming 2018); The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (Tupelo Press); and Lamp of the Body (Red Hen Press).