What is love
What is love but a fever? The same unpleasant damp hotness,
the same throat-scratching wind, the same way it devours first
then leaves you paler, thinner, then, with unconvincing memories
of having suffered once your color returns, when you do want
to roast chickens and go Christmas shopping in October.
Petrarch, he was in love with himself, drunk with the heat of
self-inflicted fever, a gift for that silver-tongued Italian.
Laura was busy doing what patrician ladies do, combing the density
of her chestnut hair and strolling about in some flowered corner
of Avignon, unaware that she would be contemplated by some girl
from the Far East, seven centuries later, because she was seen
once — once! — by a febrile man fathering humanism, sonnets,
and two children by, they say, unknown women.