Edna St. Vincent Millay (22 February 1892 – 19 October 1950 / Rockland / Maine / United States)
And do you think that love itself
And do you think that love itself,
Living in such an ugly house,
Can prosper long?
We meet and part;
Our talk is all of heres and nows,
Our conduct likewise; in no act
Is any future, any past;
Under our sly, unspoken pact,
I KNOW with whom I saw you last,
But I say nothing; and you know
At six-fifteen to whom I go—
Can even love be treated so?
I KNOW, but I do not insist,
Having stealth and tact, thought not enough,
What hour your eye is on your wrist.
No wild appeal, no mild rebuff
Deflates the hour, leaves the wine flat—
Yet if YOU drop the picked-up book
To intercept my clockward look—
Tell me, can love go on like that?
Even the bored, insulted heart,
That signed so long and tight a lease,
Can BREAK it CONTRACT, slump in peace.
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