We Have Not Long To Love

We Have Not Long To Love
BY TENNESSEE WILLIAMS

We have not long to love.
Light does not stay.
The tender things are those
we fold away.
Coarse fabrics are the ones
for common wear.
In silence I have watched you
comb your hair.
Intimate the silence,
dim and warm.
I could but did not, reach
to touch your arm.
I could, but do not, break
that which is still.
(Almost the faintest whisper
would be shrill.)
So moments pass as though
they wished to stay.
We have not long to love.
A night. A day….

Source: Poetry (February 1991).

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

2 responses to “We Have Not Long To Love

  • silvereagle

    Another of Tennessee Williams — And another that is new to me. He apparently speeks of a short-time encounter between lovers – an afternoon tryst perhaps. There is no indication of the sex of the partners. And it can be read either way for sure."Not Long to love" is incorrect in the case of my lover-husbnad and myself. We have cultivated our love for almost eight years and anticipate many more years to come. While an afternoon tryst is very short, and our love is not as ancient as some, we are looking forward to saying "We had a long time to love and we did!"

  • tamayn

    It's always better to take the risk and try and connect with someone, than to spend the rest of your life wondering what might have been.

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