Jul/Aug 2001  •   Poetry

Those Levers Between

by Ward Kelley

Those Levers Between

Love is that which faces you
at the juncture where your body is
in complete conflict with your heart.

The body is always self-consuming
and will leave no room for artful
compromise or negotiations.

The heart loves the object of its
eyes, and understands all the rules
and obligations of reciprocal love,

yet the heart is sometimes confronted
with those levers between its own body
and the well-being of its lover. This

then is where the heart must choose...
so love is what can be measured
by the choice of a person's heart,

and seldom by the words of the body.


Artist's note:
In Greek legend the courtesan Leaena, captured and tortured in an effort to get her to betray her lover, bit off her own tongue and spit it in the face of her torturers to ensure she would not answer their questions.