Sentenced to Love

a poem by Mary Mathew

“I love you.”

These words reverberate
Within my soul,
As they effortlessly escape
Your guiltless lips,
Making me restless.
I quiver like a black vine,
Twining, trembling, torturingly entangled
In the spontaneous gust of this wind.

The simplicity of these words
Beguiles me,
Yet astonishingly,
Humbles me.

You unleash deafeningly
In your whisper
A storm of unheard fury.
As it stridently voices in my conscience,
An echo of epic proportions:
To concede, to be your blessed beloved.

Your words ignite a furnace within me,
Nullifying the sanctuary of denial.
The misery, the agony, the despondency
Stoking incessantly,
Questioning me relentlessly
On the sense of this solitary life
I chose for myself.
Words cannot express the truth
Of my abandoned desires.
I close my eyes to veil the reality.

And then stare into oblivion, and cry,
Thinking of ways to convince you
That I may be the biggest mistake
Of your life.
Your declaration of love has brought me to tears.
And I cannot help hurling myself
Into the abyss of denial.

I would rather be a withered leaf
On this jade-like earth
Than be a ravished petal
On the soiled land of a mortal.
I would rather scorch my soul in hell
Than put my trust in a man
And his words.

I cannot tell you the reason
For my withdrawal from worldly pleasures.
I cannot reveal my true feelings
Which I withdraw from your mortal sight.
I cannot express in plain words
The dilemma I face,
The truth about my rejection of your love
As I restrain my parched lips
From the lure of the forbidden fruit,
From you, my love.

It is a pitiless escapism,
A senseless suicide.
The misery that ensues is unbearable,
It penetrates through my soul
Like a death sentence.
But in this case, I do not die.
I am sentenced to love,
To be loved.