With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning (though I’m sure she felt the same).
How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.
I loathe thee to the depth and breadth and height
My skin can itch, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of buzzing and ideal sprays.
I loathe thee to the level of each day’s
Most quiet need, by citronella candle-light.
I loathe thee freely, as I slap at night.
I loathe thee purely, as thou escape’st my gaze.
I loathe thee with the passion put to use
In my old bites, and with my childhood’s tears.
I loathe thee with a loathing I don’t lose
When summer wanes. I loathe thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but loathe thee deeper after death.
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