by Liza Graham

I'm every idiot who's ever stood
At dead of night beneath a balcony,
Thrown pebbles, poems, pearls and drops of blood,
And sung, a bit too loudly:  "Come to me.
Love is the thorn to which I lay my breast,
Love is to me fool's cap and monarch's crown;
The off-key serenade that breaks my rest,
The hobnailed boot that kicks me when I'm down.
My heart is a disaster, a cracked cup
That spills its staining contents everywhere.
For you I gild it new and raise it up
To drink your health, o perilous and fair."
       And all the lovers in the world and I
       Before your unlit window, drink and die.

Liza Graham is a mezzo-soprano and occasional writer. Born in Washington DC, she now lives in London with a piano and two cats. Her first sonnet was about how outdated the sonnet form is, because even in eighth grade she was abominably pretentious. Seriously, you could smell the eventual English degree. It smelled fruity, like her favourite fruit, the peach. British peaches are lousy, though — rendering Eliot's query somewhat moot.

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