“My friend James says I should love you anyway.”
—Jamila Woods, “Baldwin”
The term metamour—
made up by the polyamory
community, rooted somewhat
in etymology, (meta: denoting
a position behind, after,
or beyond; mour: to live,
to exist; from amour,
meaning lover, or secret
or illicit love affair;
from paramour, meaning
a lover, especially
the illicit partner of
a married person)—means
the beloved of my beloved
with whom I have no
obligation of formal
concern, and a shared
calendar, yet I still
indulge in jealousy
masking insecurity, (are
they prettier, smarter, better
in bed…) rather than
seek out additional
find my own lover
to label metamour
for my paramour, sleep
alone, reach for pleasure
without fear of cross-
fluids and infections,
withholding sex until
results return clean,
worried about feeling
special, desperate for extra
attention like all of it
isn’t enough, distracted
by the inaccurate belief
in love like fossil fuels, like
uranium, like gold,
until body horizontal
and warm, wrapped
in pulsing gratitude, pours
more amour into existence,
proof live is really oxygen
for now, exhale for mountain
ash or dandelion or juniper
bush—plenty to go around,
plenty to pollute
these pores, spill over into
another metamour, one
who is not mine like
capital but mine like
considered with the original
beloved in mind.
Zeptosecond (against Twitter’s wishes)
Despite Twitter’s pleas, here I am—
writing a poem about a zeptosecond.
According to scientists, a zeptosecond is
a trillionth of a billionth of a second,
and I want to write a poem
(ignoring Molly Spencer’s advice)
about love, how it manifests this quickly.
I do not believe anything is off limits
when it comes to poetry, or love,
so expect this line—
I loved you in the first zeptosecond.
And this one—every zeptosecond
spent loving you makes the decades
of loneliness worth it. Do you want more?
How about this? It takes 247 zeptoseconds
for a light particle to cross a hydrogen molecule,
and at the rate joy enters my soul
when you cross a room toward me, you’re faster
than light. I’m full of them, puns
disguised as love poems, promises
portrayed as scientific discoveries.
I know—it’s so poetic of me
to turn every random trivia
into a metaphor for our forever,
and if I was any other way, I imagine
loving me would be less fun.
Why resist gifts given through social media?
Why give up the opportunity to tell you what
I love you to the moon and back really means?
Every day, the heart creates enough energy to drive a truck
twenty miles—in a lifetime, that’s the equivalent
to driving to the moon and back,
so when I say I love you to the moon and back,
I mean with all the blood my heart pumps
my whole life. I mean, every blood vessel
is yours, every time you look at the moon
we’re together, every moment alive is billions
of trillions of zeptoseconds I get to love you.
And you love a poet—expect infinite poems
reminding you we’re endless, the only unit I need.
Monica Prince teaches activist and performance writing and serves as Director of Africana Studies at Susquehanna University. She’s the author of three poetry collections, most recently her forthcoming choreopoem, Roadmap. Follow her on Twitter @poetic_moni or on her website atmwww.monicaprince.com.