COUNSELOR: Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
CALLER: My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
COUNSELOR: In what way are they not like the sun? I mean, uh–
CALLER: Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
COUNSELOR: I thought coral was more pinkish. Or if it dries out, then it turns white.
CALLER: If snow be white,
COUNSELOR: No, I was still talking about coral.
COUNSELOR: You brought it up, sir.
CALLER: then her breasts are dun;
COUNSELOR: Done with what? Did she just wean a kid? Or are you–
CALLER: If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
COUNSELOR: Now she sounds like a cyborg. Did you just call me to complain about your girlfriend’s looks?
CALLER: I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
COUNSELOR: Did she hear you complaining? Flowers might be a good start, but it sounds like you need to work on communication skills–and on reasonable expectations. You may want to talk to a couples counselor.
CALLER: But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
COUNSELOR: Or a face painter. I mean, if that’s what she’s into–
CALLER: And in some perfumes is there more delight
COUNSELOR: Have you asked her what she likes? Perfumes, or flowers, or face painting? What would she want to see or hear from you?
CALLER: Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
COUNSELOR: No, I don’t think that’s something any woman would want to hear.
CALLER: I love to hear her speak,
COUNSELOR: That’s much better. And in the long run, it may be more important than how she looks.
CALLER: yet well I know / That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
COUNSELOR: And we’re back to expectations. You can’t expect your girlfriend to be some goddess.
CALLER: I grant I never saw a goddess
COUNSELOR: Of course not. May I say something about expectations?
COUNSELOR: See, society sets up these lofty expectations that no one can really meet.
CALLER: My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.
CALLER: And yet, by heaven,
COUNSELOR: So on heaven and earth at once? That’s not very common.
CALLER: I think my love as rare
COUNSELOR: See, now you’re getting somewhere. You complain about the things you don’t like, but deep down you know she’s special. Like…uh, like…
CALLER: As any she belied with false compare
COUNSELOR: So she does it too, huh? I’ve seen that happen. It’s sad when women feel the need to compare themselves to others.