The Little Book of Love
They needed a short paperback on love:
‘A hundred pages,’ explained the letter,
‘Airport stuff, a Christmas stocking filler.’
Simple enough, I thought: a poem or two,
A few choice quotes from the usual suspects,
A photo of a couple by the Seine,
Plus memories of passions at first sight,
Delirious summer days of pleasure.
‘The Little Book of Love’, I shall call it.
But hang on, what about the other side?
The revers de la médaille, so to speak.
The disappointment, not to say despair,
The guilt, the shame and the double dealing,
Base desire, absent any feeling.
True love is dangerous, for all its joys.
Whatever place or riches one enjoys,
It sidles up and captures you by stealth;
It should come with a warning for your health.
‘Lovers beware’ or ‘Beware the lover’:
Put these in big letters on the cover.