|I used to be completely cruel and heartless,|
Using girls, then tossing them aside.
I used to feel an angry, bitter hunger,
Not knowing why, nor looking much inside.
I used to think the goal of life was pleasure:
My own, of course, whatever that might take.
A woman's feelings had to be her problem.
Self-sacrifice was always a mistake.
And so, with just the slightest twinge of conscience,
I hunted for my lonely ecstasy;
And even when I wanted a companion,
The only one I cared about was me.
We make our worlds, like God, in our own image:
Mine was a metropolis of stone
In which all souls were either fools or cynics,
Doomed to take their pleasure on their own.
And then I fell in love with you, and somehow
Your happiness meant more to me than mine.
The desert became green and lush with flowers,
And like a sun my heart began to shine.
And like a wind I swept across the ocean,
And like a star exploded into night,
And like a song I held love in my hands,
And like an angel knew that this was right.
All that I had thought was proven wrong,
All the lies to justify my greed.
To love was to embrace the pith of life,
To feel a joy far stronger than a need.
And if I could so love, I could be loved,
Could think someone might want me and believe it,
Could let another know me without shame,
Could give my self and know I could retrieve it.
All this I tell you that I might be known,
That all of me no longer be alone;
And if you do not love the one I am,
So be it. I will weep, but understand.
Copyright by Nicholas Gordon