If I loved


Me in the reflection.
Looking at the proof.
Duane Michals’ print of “This Photograph is my Proof!”
sent me searching for my own thoughts about lost love.
I am not a big user of exclamation points,
but I like it here.
That’s the mark that exclaims sweet relief—
I didn’t imagine it. I didn’t make it up.
You loved me and here is the proof.
But where does it go when it dies?
That’s what I thought about.
I have only had one love die.
It was murdered—then strangled.
All my other loves live on.
They alter,
flatten into two dimensions,
but they are still there.
If I loved, I love.


6 responses to “If I loved

  1. Beautiful. And, oh, how I love Duane Michals.

  2. But then again, photographs can lie!!! And multiple truths can be true too. I hate to point that out, but it is certainly true, and it is actually one of the wonderful things about photographs. The Micheals photo above for example proves that the two pictured were close at that moment but they could have been throwing dishes at each other the next. I see softness and vulnerability in the photo and it is very beautiful but do I see love?? Micheals did I guess, or hoped he did, or proclaimed he did.

    • Yes. Worse than that maybe in that photographs can corrupt memories and alter them. Although I understand his yearning for proof of love, I was more focused on—but then—If it was ever true, if she had ever loved him—why deny that? Why would she feel she wanted to deny that? Or that he had to prove it somehow? What happens to the love?

  3. Where does love go when it dies? Where it is still (pun intended)

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