David Lehman

Variations on a Theme


You're in love and you'll do anything

You'll lie cajole threaten to join the army

join the army get shot come home

wounded and embittered you'll do it

For a taste of her jam you'll agree to it

Agreed but wisdom isn't survival

well maybe it includes survival but

it isn't only survival it has to exalt

something else such as love

the love that led you

to abandon all wisdom



You're in love

You head down to the river to cry

all lovers have the right to cry

and sing the blues

down around the river



You're in love and Paris

with lover and lust

it's human to want to hear

her voice in your ear

and you quicken your stride

like an electrician on his day off

who knows how the place is wired

and wouldn't let her do somethig weird

like stick her finger in a socket

and that's why she loves him

and he has taken her to Paris.

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