We won’t be making love tonight.

Against the backdrop of Whitney Houston,
the young & the old twirl & twirl & catch
each other in their arms; too-long hugs & yelled greetings
signal the night’s future for these unknown couples—-
who among us are in love?

Children tucked into bed & the music finally turned down low,
the loving will commence: scattered clothes & lips
to skin, heat & hair, moans between silence

I used to count upon the person beside me
to love me in that way, to pull me in,
stare into my eyes, finally whisper I love you
after deciding to leave;

but that was never love, that love-making.

For months, I watched others forge new partners
with whom their sex was more than casual so that every time
I touch another’s lips with my own,
I see nothing but the bodies of their truer lovers
pressed against theirs: a reminder that I am a vessel for others to find love,

a carapace to fill a hunger until someone perfect
welcomes them into their arms & they make love

Driving, I pass a long row,
then a field of luscious wildflowers
in yellow & violet & blue & red & orange
against the backdrop of light green grass:
I hope that there are bees there, pollinating
& mating & loving the Earth, & I hear them whisper
no, you won’t be making love, tonight