Life, over time, grinds down the soul, and belief becomes the casualty. You can only save the ones capable of believing. The ones who haven’t given up. The ones who weren’t born to give up. You can make your love known in every way, but as the soul is grated, and it begins to crumble, obstinate doubt replaces belief, which means love is no comfort and that love can never be a comfort.
Because love is an invisible force that still lets bad things happen.
But without love, the heart is nothing more than a metronome marking time until there is no time left to mark.
Bad things happen when a woman takes you into the home of her heart, and you’re not ready live there. Bad things. But all you know when she rolls away from you is it feels like the sun is setting and the moon will never rise. There is nothing but the dark in you to swell and receive her. You have nothing to offer. You are nothing but the doorman rolling out the carpet and the muse who walks her through her dreams. If not for her dreams, there would be nothing in you to love. When she whimpers in her sleep and reaches for you, it’s then you realize that she is the type of woman you can never sustain, only maintain… for a while. Because the truth is that you need her to save you, give you water to bloom in the cracks of your asphalt life, but she doesn’t need you. She was feeling hopeful, and you were there. You were a street sign, “No entry.” Nothing to be gained here. Move on. Try a more viable path. And she said, “Challenge accepted.”
She’s got this air about her. It’s something like an inhale that draws every one in, but it’s only you she wants to breathe. It’s just that you have little oxygen to offer. And she’s got this walk, like she’s determined to get somewhere, just not in a hurry. But you still can’t keep up.
One day, you look at her over coffee, and you realize it's so much farther from the beginning to the end than you ever imagined, and you've lost your map, so, you’ve no way to finish what you started. You suffered for so long waiting for a savior, a break in your grey life, and there she was—a blood red rose among the static. But what to do with it now?
Bad things happen because when you are lost somewhere in the middle, looking for the right direction, you realize that you always knew her love was a borrowed thing. That, in the end, if you didn’t find your way, she’d take it back. She never intended her heart for the emotionally illiterate. She intended it only for a man who would strive for the light. You realize sometimes you love with all you have, and in the end, it isn’t enough. For that, you begin to hate God. You hate him for giving, and you hate him for what he’ll take away. So, you give her away before she’s taken. But she becomes who you pray to. “Please find me. Please help me. Please bring me home.” She becomes the double edged sword. She’s the steps you take and the ladder you climb and the noose you hang yourself with. She’s the inspiration, she’s the anticipation, and she’s the kill shot.
She says, “All I’m asking is that you choose me.” And you can’t because you’ve been static for too long.
Once in a life, a woman comes along who sets fire to your life, burns down every thing that doesn’t suit her, turns your kingdom to ashes, but still leaves you the crown, but you think it's out of pity, not love. You own nothing, not even your crown is yours because she allowed you to have it. Nothing you built before her exists, not even the person you thought you were. And so you sing her praises. “She’s saved my life.” But you hate her for it, too.
She says, “You have to burn down the old in order to have something new. You have to choose.”
And then she’s pulling her night shirt over her head, and your body vibrates like a tuning fork, moaning a single, ghostly note against your ribs. A perfect C.
Love. Bend, or it will break you. Bend, or bad things happen.
She says, “Would you kill what you love?”
You say, “Not on purpose.” But you don’t know that.
She says, “Do you need me?”
You say, “Yes.” She made you understand the taste of want for the first time, but you don’t know if that is what need means. You can only define withdrawal.
She says, “If you could go to a store of women and pick the perfect one, would you buy me?”
But you don’t answer because you know no one has ever owned her. But you didn’t know then that question meant all she wanted was to belong to someone. Or did you? And you killed that need on purpose.
The first time you took her to bed, you said, “I have nothing to offer you but regret. And maybe a coffee in the morning.”
She says, “I take mine with cream.”
She says, “Tell me now. Tell me now that you choose me.”
But you are immune to her desire, and you are frightened by her demand. So you ask for more time, and she gives it.
Love. Bend, or it will break you.
You waited until you became the darkness pulling her under. You justified it by telling yourself you didn’t know another way to love. You said, “If you want me to stop, I’ll stop.” But she wasn’t afraid. She stood straight and hard within your darkness and watched as you threw matches at her. “You burn mine, I burn yours,” you say. She watched as the smoke started, and she watched as the fire rose, a beautiful cherry red. And she says, “Do you ever wonder what fire tastes like?”
And you didn’t answer.
And she waited.
And she stood still even as her skin blistered, and she stood still as her hair turned to flames.
You watch until the fire burns out. Until there aren’t even embers left.
And, through the dark, you contemplate your freedom from choice.
And then you say, “I think fire would taste like cherry flavored Pez.”
And you give up.
Because you realize you waited too long.
And your metronome ticks on.