Uncouth it was, a fall from grace, but when we passed the thick-barked tree I heard it, rustling, asking me to carve initials on its face— four—enclose them, and then trace a heart around them, making two one, albeit metaphorically. For Antony and Romeo are known only from what was later written of them; but we know Abelard from what he penned himself! You see, I couldn’t wait. Or maybe I didn’t care who’d see, nor how the hell the tale might end, but could no longer bear to be but half a whole, with-out the heart wherein I blaze as one with you.
James B. Nicola is the author of six collections of poetry: Manhattan Plaza, Stage to Page, Wind in the Cave, Out of Nothing: Poems of Art and Artists, Quickening: Poems from Before and Beyond (2019), and Fires of Heaven: Poems of Faith and Sense (2021). His theater career culminated in the nonfiction book Playing the Audience: The Practical Guide to Live Performance, which won a Choice award.