The speaker begins the poem by addressing a lover and explaining all of the things that his love does not resemble. He lists roses, topaz, and carnations that create fire. Instead, he tells her (or him) that he loves her in the way people love more mysterious, unidentifiable things. Instead, he compares his love to a plant that doesn't bloom, keeping the potential for flowers hidden away internally. Because of their love, the speaker says, the smell of the earth continues to exist inside of his body.
Next, the speaker explains that even he doesn't totally understand the source of his love. He doesn't know why he loves the listener, or where his love comes from. Moreover, his love is uncomplicated by issues like personal ego. After all, he says, he's not sure there's any other way to love. The only way he can love is through a dissolution of the two lovers' separate identities, so that his lover's hand on his chest is indistinguishable from his own, and his lover closes her eyes to experience dreams identical to his own.