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Village Voices: Valentine's Poems For Loves Lost And The Love Within

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Moni Jaimes, of Queretaro, Mexico, peers through a heart-shaped window as a family member takes her photo, at "Window to the Heart," a Valentine's Day themed art installation in Times Square, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in New York.
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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0212blanco.mp3

Ahead of Valentine's Day, we look at love — self love, lost loves and unrequited love — with poet Richard Blanco. 

Blanco is the fifth presidential inaugural poet in U.S. history. His latest project is the book "Boundaries," a collaboration with photographer Jacob Bond Hessler. 

Click on the audio player above to hear Blanco read the poems below and more. 

LOVE AFTER LOVE

by Derek Walcott

The time will come

when, with elation

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror

and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.

MAYBE (for Craig)

by Richard Blanco

Maybe it was the billboards promising
paradise, maybe those fifty-nine miles
with your hand in mine, maybe my sexy
roadster, the top down, maybe the wind
fingering your hair, sun on your thighs
and bare chest, maybe it was just the ride
over the sea split in two by the highway
to Key Largo, or the idea of Key Largo.
Maybe I was finally in the right place
at the right time with the right person.
Maybe there’d finally be a house, a dog
named Chu, a lawn to mow, neighbors,
dinner parties, and you forever obsessed
with crossword puzzles and Carl Jung,
reading in the dark by the moonlight,
at my bedside every night. Maybe. Maybe
it was the clouds paused at the horizon,
the blinding fields of golden sawgrass,
the mangrove islands tangled, inseparable
as we might be. Maybe I should’ve said
something, promised you something,
asked you to stay a while, maybe.

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