We are hard by Margaret Atwood

If I love you — the same question I keep asking myself, over and over.

We are hard
Margaret Atwood

i

We are hard on each other
and call it honesty,
choosing our jagged truths
with care and aiming them across
the neutral table.

The things we say are
true; it is our crooked
aim, our choices
turn them criminal.

ii

Of course your lies
are more amusing:
you make them new each time.

Your truths, painful and boring
repeat themselves over & over
perhaps because you own
so few of them

iii

A truth should exist,
it should not be used
like this. If I love you

is that a fact or a weapon?

iv

Does the body lie
moving like this, are these
touches, hairs, wet
soft marble my tongue runs over
lies you are telling me?

Your body is not a word,
it does not lie or
speak truth either.

It is only
here or not here.

—

From Selected Poems (1965-1975) by Margaret Atwood, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1987.

1 Comment

  1. She seems to say with such ease what’s been on one’s mind. Love your blog, your selection :)

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