Love by the book

Happy Lovers by.Jean-Honore Fragonard, approximately 1760.

by John MacBeath Watkins

Let's love each other by the book
and by the film and by the play
We'll skip the sly come-hither look;
such romances are concluded in a day

Instead we'll meet, and bicker, and fight
and regret that we drive each other away
I'll wear black, and you'll wear white
and your disapproving father will be gray

I'll be the professor, bewildered and amusingly enraged
and you will be my manic pixie dream girl
My severe fiance will become estranged
as I'm drawn into your disorienting whirl

We'll argue 'til we're laughing, struggle 'til we're man and wife
and rather strangely burst out into song
One alternative is drama, poison and the knife
and final scenes that always last too long.

Or I can be the rebel that only you can change
arriving out of nowhere on my
motorcycle/space ship/stallion on the range
and you'll be lovely, innocent, and shy

You will save me from myself and I
will save you from a most unlikely danger
and our audience will be transfixed, and cry
about the girl next door and the taciturn stranger

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