Pete Upham

Love Vows of a Coward

I would tattoo

Yellow on my paunch,

Tend lilies

Dressed in livery,

Live in a henhouse

Among feathers and eggs,

Or in a cathouse

With scarediest company.

As a dog, I would

Put my tail between my legs,

Hide and whimper when the thunder


I would donate my spine

To science,


From my shrinking shadow,

Run swiftly

From peril,

Throw my honor

And yours to the street.

Deer heart, I am

A milksop, a quail, a leaf.

I shake and tremble

For you, for you, for you.