What sees she in him that I do not? Prithee, I accept ’tis not within me to judge others but only that which lies within my reasoned mind and beats within my breast. I breathe the same air and speak of truths but does not my touch encourage flame to flesh? Do I not bleed as he when cut and when in pain without the lust of love to bind and coddle my wounds will they not also merely fester?
There is within and without a great malaise that escapes identification but it is in recalling the events that set me upon my bed that I will call to me the healing. It is my supposition that upon the proclamation I could not live without her that my body was bound to do my bidding. Yet, with all the physical absurdities my mind is alert and, therefore, I am relent to admit as I know it to be scientific truth – I will not die of a broken heart.
It is with depth of question that I seek those answers to our fleeting time together desiring that which I cannot explain. Surely, she saw the value our coupling would have made – me with mind enough to invent a solid future and her with perfect family heritage to carry many a prodigious son.
I told her she is flesh and my natural drive for procreation desired her next to me, naked, and then, inside her, even more naked in the nearness that conceals nothing up close. But he – claimed that a rose was no match for her beauty and its petal would never be as soft or precious as her even in the lasting mist of an early afternoon rain… And she, blossomed with a blush pulling him close and laying upon his lips with her lips the kiss that should be mine.
I placed upon her forehead a cool compress and administered a mix of potent herbs to quell a fever and as I know he could not match that elixir to bring recovery I was confident that she would be well. Yet, he laid a hand across her forehead and cradled her close in comfort espousing a thousand times he would suck the venom from her that dares to invade her beauty as never before there was such a beauty if ever a beauty there were to be… And she giggled, feeling all the better while he tested his promise upon her.
I looked not upon her body with overt desire. Nor, did I parade her beauty before others in order to protect her innocence and to myself I kept the images and the actions of our privacy, albeit, there were few. She demurely received my respect yet blatantly accepted his proposal over mine. He proclaimed loudly of his lust for her and that he alone was privy to the ravages of her body – him and only him – inviting martyr to take up the sword to fight if that was what they dared. He commissioned a romantic artist to caress her naked image in paint upon the canvas claiming he would share only that as if to display his luck and tease jealousy.
The discomfort I feel now grows from a sickness of the heart to a realization within my mind. She does not desire such truths and I am jealous of a man who lies to her to achieve his outcomes. I could write a ream of parchment essays professing my love to her but she would not believe them for his words are exaggerated to the point of absurdity. Who would proclaim a rose is not a rose and that her beauty walks the darkest night as if a glowing ember from the hearth? Whose touch and a thousand words could seal a kiss yet my mind and money cannot? Who caresses her body with rhyme and does not have to fight because he is a lover? Who, I say?
The wretched poet.