(After and with sincere apologies to Matthew Olzmann, whose original poem is astounding.)
Most likely, you think we commercialized love,
one night’s passion, hands sliding across skin,
off-the-rack lingerie and cheap perfume.
It must seem like we sold ourselves promises:
that love is a meteor or a clap of thunder,
that eyes meet across a crowded television set
and boom, a fairytale wedding
broadcast on all the networks.
You probably doubt that any of it was real
but I assure you some of it was.
We still had feelings: we voted
and the winners exchanged roses, or rings
set with diamonds mined in Sierra Leone,
or Canada, if they were paying attention.
Absolutely, there were Hollywood romances!
Absolutely, we swooned over scripted confessions!
I’m saying, no-one expected the lightning strike.
We followed our own meandering paths into storms,
we stood out in the fields, arms raised to the sky,
dutifully telling ourselves (despite the commercials),
“There’s no such thing as love at first sight.”
And then her eyes, a meteor. Boom.