Because I Do Not Love You

I can love you calmly
as the dogwood turns
its leaf buds and cream
petals to the April light
and softly they stir the air

I can love you
because I can look away

And watch through the window
listening to the silent voices
singing in high pitched keys
the whistles of dogs the stretching
trees and rushing bats

I can look away
and not make you the sun

As love can make a sun of the moon
and stars of dark eyes
how lost and confusing the cosmic map
when constellations
must be traced with held hands

I do not make you the sun
and can see you

Puttering about the house
arranging your own natural
order to your things
see the sweet surprise
when you lift your eyes to me

I can see you
can love you calmly

OWEN LEWIS M.D. is a writer, child psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University, whose poetry has appeared in The Hamilton Review and The Performing Arts Review, and articles in such journals as The American Journal of Psychotherapy and Contemporary Psychoanalysis. He co-authored the multi-media work for poetry and piano, New Pictures at an Exhibition (published by Alexander Broude, Inc.), and Psychodynamic Psychotherapies with Children and Adolescents (American Psychiatric Press).