I Do Not Say

I do not say I love you,
but I notice how your fingers
twine and wrap around empty,
tracing broken circles in the air
when you are nervous.
I do not say I love you,
but there is a spot on the nape of your neck,
which radiates blush with the slightest tease
or provocation, and I do not tell you
how I belong to it,
its small history, and wisps of symmetry
soldering pink to gasp.
I do not say I love you,
Silence, you see, my longstanding master,
having taught me the gauzy reckon
of slow holy burn,
and ice floes, papered with daisies,
adrift in motherless golden haze,
perpetrating nature as silent cinema
with lines and actors to spare.
I do not say I love you,
but I know all of your hiding places,
and have left bread-crumbs there to commemorate
your movements between revelation and secrecy.
I do not say I love you,
for there are words, unborn, wanting, waiting,
wanting, hard-pressed to become
roseblood on vellum edges,
pinches brightening subtle measures
and violent pauses.
I do not say I love you,
but I dutifully observe and record
every starred recognition,
turning the world on its ear,
tracing my mouth to the air that your hands
just touched then abandoned.
I do not say I love you,
but I do not forget, ever.
Memory, exact in its tether
to origins, shows me
a home,
a harbor,
an exchange to marry music
to breath in frets and starts.
I do not say I love you,
my voice, time-locked to nuance,
finds you again and again
in poems,
bound between the cross-hairs
of absence
and praise.

About John Biscello

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, spoken word performer, and playwright, John Biscello now lives in Taos, New Mexico. He is the author of three novels: Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, and Nocturne Variations, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag. His fiction and poetry has appeared in: Art Times, nthposition, The Wanderlust Review, Ophelia Street, Caper, Polyphony, Dilate, Militant Roger, Chokecherries, Farmhouse, BENT, The 555 Collective, Instigator, Brass Sopaipilla, The Iconoclast, Adobe Walls, Kansas City Voices, and the Tishman Review. His blog--Notes of an Urban Stray--can be read at johnbiscello.blogspot.com. Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year.
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52 Responses to I Do Not Say

  1. Kindra M. Austin says:

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Holy Wow. Check out John’s blog, ya’ll.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so beautiful I’m without words other than that it has left me speechless.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Love the spare lyricism and tautness.


  4. You know I’ve fallen in love with this.


  5. Love in its purity needs no declaration


  6. The part about the neck, all the lines, each of them, ❤️


  7. Beautiful! And stuff. Like beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on House of Heart and commented:
    Sometimes we find something so beautiful…here it is.


  9. Though i personally believe strongly in saying I love you, often, this is gorgeous evidence that there are other ways to worship a presence.
    Just lovely!


  10. Absolutely beautiful John.. Paul Andruss who writes a column for my blog recommended we head over and read it and he was spot on. Sally

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Resa says:

    I do not say beautiful. I say I have no words for this wonderful prose. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Resa says:

    Oh, I found my way here via House Of Heart

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Simply beautiful. Each word a pleasure to read. Glad Paul Andruss recommended.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. dgkaye says:

    What a beautiful way to say what we sometimes dare not say. 🙂


  15. AmyRose🌹 says:

    You have left me speechless. Absolutely brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Carol says:

    I am so pleased I popped over from Sally’s…This poem is just…Is just…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ward Clever says:

    Beautifully written, John! You don’t say it with words, you show it with vignettes, feelings, actions, subtle glances and gentle caresses. I loved this.

    Liked by 1 person

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