by Edna St. Vincent Millay
"And do you think that love itself,
Living in such an ugly house,
Can prosper long?
We meet and part;
Our talk is all of heres and nows,
Our conduct likewise; in no act
Is any future, any past;
Under our sly, unspoken pact,
I KNOW with whom I saw you last,
But I say nothing; and you know
At six-fifteen to whom I go-
Can even love be treated so?
I KNOW, but I do not insist,
Having stealth and tact, thought not enough,
What hour your eye is on your wrist.
No wild appeal, no mild rebuff
Deflates the hour, leaves the wine flat-
Yet if YOU drop the picked-up book
To intercept my clockward look-
Tell me, can love go on like that?
Even the bored, insulted heart,
That signed so long and tight a lease,
Can BREAK it CONTRACT, slump in peace.
Last updated January 14, 2019