The City of Empty Arms

The moon is on fire
and flowers tease us
with the heady hope
love can bloom in the void
of an unanswered kiss.

A mask used to be a metaphor,
the smile I wore so no one
could see inside the mirror.

Now it is a shield announcing
I care enough about your life
to not expose you to my contagion.

How long can one exist inside a question?
It is so cold in this city of empty arms.

©Susie Clevenger 2020


Oh, that last line in particular is heart-rending.
Jim said…
I like two areas especially, "the city of open arms," earlier they were open for hugging, and this stanza,
"A mask used to be a metaphor,
the smile I wore so no one
could see inside .. ."
which speaks for itself.

Helen said…
If only ... if only others cared as much as you - as me. Lovely poetry, Ms. Susie.
Magaly Guerrero said…
Oh, Susie, those empty arms squeeze the heart.
Lori said…
Can love bloom in a void? I think it can, if it means caring and compassion to keep others safe. That kind of love is for not just love for one but a love for all.
Sanaa Rizvi said…
This is my new favorite from you, Susie!❤️ The images evoke such empathy, such fiery passion! Especially love; "How long can one exist inside a question?"
Humblekind Poet said…
I loved your poem, Susan. It makes me have the "feels" of sweetness and sadness.
Rommy said…
I get very angry at people who get mad at others wearing masks. Is it because it is a visible reminder triggering a deep buried shame they refuse to admit? A person wearing a mask is someone showing caring, as you pointed out. And any caring in this time and forms of affection are limited should be treasured.
It feels like a cold world, especially when people do not consider others.