On broken things

Were women art, she would’ve been a masterpiece
of grays encased in black and reds bordered by white,
fit with a subtle grace, the kind you blink and miss.
She fit her hand in mine like it’s where it belonged
and let it linger for a moment’s gentle squeeze.
A quiet chemistry to burn louder than vows,
like making matches with phosphorous and sulphur;
there were no tricks of mind, nor games of cat and mouse,
just hands and eyes. The two of us, we had enough
issues between us to start a publishing house.

We spoke what little words there were to speak, then spoke
only to hear each other speak, then simply sat
as sentries for silence to veil us in its cloak.
Our faces met like magnets with a mind to take
gravity, bend it out of shape and leave it broke.
So strong this force of magnetism, it forbade
our lips from leaving. A kiss out of bad movies,
or dime a dozen books, that managed to degrade
a thousand words into a quick exchange of looks.
She was my Queen of Hearts, I was her Jack of Spades.

Perhaps I was a fool to run away so soon.
Perhaps I was a fool to think no man alive
could take two broken clocks and make them tick in tune.
And if I never looked behind, it’s ’cause I was
walking backwards when I left her that afternoon.
Sometimes I think her tongue and lips must’ve been laced
with stuff only Greek gods could take, that years later
the thought of her alone is like an aftertaste
of caterpillars; butterflies in the stomach
that line my guts in ice and grind them into paste.


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