The speaker in a poem is rarely ever the author themself. Poems are spoken by characters formed by the author, often exaggerations of some element within the author, who often share the same soul as the author, but they are set apart.

And good thing too, for poets are not nearly as articulate as their characters.

Why we’re not together

I envisioned love at first glance:
a daylight dazzle
of truth and beauty and expanse and awe,
so that if our first moment was not perfect,
I could dismiss
the chance of any future flirtation.

I composed courtly love
so I could pursue women like you
as one would pursue the moon, the sun
and the stars,
without any danger
of catching them.

I birthed loving like a brother
to make you my sister,
to surround myself with incestous impossibility.

I chose a career that travels
and breaks us apart with oceans,
that severs us with uncertain years.

I compared you to my failures,
my never-weres, never-to-bes,
shot you with pessimism,
let you down
led you away
turned my head
turned my heart
closed up
closed off

and still,
I miss you.

Courtly Love comes in the basket

by Andrew Wade.

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