Love’s First Balcony Scene by John Middlebrook

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February 14, 2016 by northerncardinalreview

New love-- all-consuming--
claims to be worth all the trouble it makes,
as it blindly adopts and proffers hope.

But when love departs, its troubles remain
like orphans lost in their own home:

        who curse raw beauty--
        the leopard skin of love--
        which they craved and stalked
        until it was slain.

Now sobs drench and fists pull curtains of hair
and tears fill tins of empty love,
        as blood boils open eyes once closed.

And lovers swear--
        with all the credence of a slamming door--
                  never again.

John Middlebrook lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where he manages a consulting firm focused on non-profit organizations. He has been writing since he was a graduate student at the University of Chicago, where he also served on the staff of Chicago Review. His poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Grasslimb, Tuck Magazine, and the Tipton Poetry Journal. John’s home on the web is


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