A Portrait of Venus
The Loneliest Lover
Her lady Venus, the planet of love, destroyed herself for the sake of others. Her wells ran dry for the Romantics who turned water into blood quixotic messiahs; nobody ever told her that love is not breaking your ribs to give someone a heart.
Love is not coal mine canaries singing carbon monoxide songs in your hollow ears as you sleep. Do not be Venus, and lend your broken ribs- do not love with an empty chest; clean out your smoke-blackened lungs, like filtering water, and pour out the bottled love your previous lovers have left you with.
Do not love with your skin – the glass clean surface of your body. Do not love with the gentle bones you have been given. Do not love with a body so tender it breaks when bent.
Her lady Venus, the planet of love, though she is two away from the sun she is moonless and casts her eyes to the stars who know her because they too are hot and tired. Her days are longer than most.
Venus, lover of loneliness, does not love how she used to. She loves now with eyes, with fleeting glances that travel away faster than a comet crosses the view of a child. She loves in baby-pink satin; her sleeping-giant love rests in its robe, waiting, and waiting, and waiting for her next love.
Her lady Venus, the planet of love, destroyed herself for the sake of others, murmuring carbon monoxide melodies into the ears of Mercury, snapping her ribs to create what she thinks might have been love.
Venus, my love, lift up your head.
Do not let Mercury, with his quick wit and sharp tongue, say that love is the aches you have known. Do not let Earth, with her ever-changing warmth, scorch what may have once lived in you.
Do not let the dust of Mars scare you, for the red will wipe away like white wine.
Do not let Jupiter’s storm shake you, for she knows not what she does.
Do not let Saturn, however far away he might be, scare you with his extra guards.
Do not let Uranus knock you over on your side like all those who came before did.
Instead, reach out your grey hands and find beauty in the blue that looks like someone you used to know.
Do not let Neptune frighten you with his stature, but use your heart to calm him.
Do not let Pluto turn your heart to ice.
Remember, my lady, that bones heal, the moon will rise again, and rivers will flow, even on the loneliest of eves.