Red Roses Are Red

“Roses are red and violets are blue,” is what I think to write for you, but I can’t pretend that love’s that easy. The lines are childishly simple, altho as far as they go they might be true, true enough, and sweet, except for the tartness of the hypothetical. As in this, so in everything I write I see the fallacy and then I think that it’s not mine. Violets are violet, not blue; in reaction I feel I like you unconditionally, altho I know that roses can be white or pink. This embarrassing uncertainty puts my lines in the red.

11 April 1980