A Relationship with a Realist

Once upon a time,
a boyfriend greeted me
at my door with a red rose,
I kept it on my wall
long after it had withered, because
I wanted it to be a reminder
of how every love ends.

“You’ll never find somebody
who will love you,” he says.

Maybe I’m not looking for somebody
to love me, maybe I’m looking to be
brave enough to love somebody,
anybody at all.

I know it’s not him,
but they tell me I’m lucky,
just look at those deep blue eyes.
I believe them.

He buys me presents, and he
always, always
calls me. I want to ask him
what he thinks about 1984, and why
people are suspicious of
kind acts, but quick to take
what’s bad for them.

It’s a metaphor for him.
But that doesn’t matter, because
I don’t ask.

He and his friends gather
around the living room,
and I pretend I like
South Park and gossip.

I like to drive myself,
he tells me the movie is at 7:15, and I enter
the parking lot at 7:10, and when I take
my keys out of the ignition, and reach for
the door, I look up and see that he is
outside, dangling two movie tickets
in front of me.

He never lets me pay.

I laugh, but something’s wrong.

Society tells me that moments of lust
are more important than love.
I remember that you can’t
have everything you’ve ever wanted.
I remember to lower
my expectations.
I tell myself this is love.
I tell myself this is love.

“Why are you so fucking scared
to love me?” He shouts.

“Because I know you’ll
break my heart, because I know
you care about the size of my
waist, and you don’t
even know what I stand for,”
my heart asserts.

But I don’t know how to say it.
I remember the way he holds
my waist, and my lips are already
telling him to stay.

I learn what it means to
fall in love by breaking
your own heart.

They say you just need time
to be comfortable with someone.
I believe them.

I pretend I’m in love.
I pretend this is the best I’ll ever have.
That’s what you told me, remember?

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