Is/Not

Love is not a profession
genteel or otherwise

sex is not dentistry
the slick filling of aches and cavities

you are not my doctor
you are not my cure,

nobody has that
power, you are merely a fellow/traveller

Give up this medical concern,
buttoned, attentive,

permit yourself anger
and permit me mine

which needs neither
your approval nor your suprise

which does not need to be made legal
which is not against a disease

but against you,
which does not need to be understood

or washed or cauterized,
which needs instead

to be said and said.
Permit me the present tense.

by Margaret Atwood

Comments (12)

Permit me the present tense. Nice poem. Words well chosen for grammatical effect. Sylva.
When one reads the entire poem, as shown below, thankfully by Eileen Slade, it is far more revealing in the picture it supposes of life as it just plain is. The last verse sums it up perfectly. Fighting our way not out, just through, everyone.
Perfect line for nightclub comic: sex is not dentistry - the slick filling of aches and cavities =: -)
An awesome poem about much more than just love and sex. When it relates to Margaret Atwood, look for the unexpected. Even without the second have, it deserves the honor of Poem Of The Day! That being said, thank you Eileen for presenting the full version. It became even more Awesome!
Beautiful presentation on love and sex. Congratulation for this poem as a poem of the day...10
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