she took my poems

By: Annie Barry

why do i allow myself to participate in something as dangerously stupid as Love?
allow myself to participate
i say
as if i don’t
put myself up to bat
in a room full of automatic pitch machines

Love looks at me
like the cracks in the sidewalk look at your mother
Love stares at me like a little boy
about to break his arm on a trampoline
like he’s so excited
to jump; to feel high; to feel something
other than earth’s gravity

only for earth to pull him back down
and remind him that trying to feel something different
can be fucking painful

Love sounds
to me
like a voice crack in a crying man
like out of tune electric guitars
like car alarms
that won’t turn off
like Fran Drescher’s voice
and it smells like burning toast on a mom and dad want a divorce type of morning

Love screams
at me through four windows rolled down in january
two hands gripping more than a heavy wheel

and i scream back at her
with a mix between the oxford and urban dictionaries
to let her know i still exist

Love is
in the cashier’s voice that kinda sounded like yours
that probably didn’t sound like yours
but i heard it anyways

She’s in every rearview mirror’s backseat
and every side eye’s almost saw something that was never really there
She sees what i never did in you
or maybe doesn’t see
what i really saw in you

Love comes back to you
even after you makeout with her best friend
She finds you
even when you curse her out and tell her never to come back,
just spent her last dollars
on wine to help her write about you
and whiskey to help her forget about you
She wakes up every morning with the taste of you still bitter on her tongue
and the feeling of you still fresh in her stomach
to her, you look like the toilet bowl last night
and you look like her notebook’s last page
and you look like her wet, freshly reddened cheeks and dripping nose
and you look like her favorite poem she’s ever written
and you look like her most hated poem she’s ever written
and you look like the worn letters on her backspace key
and you look like her
and you look like her
Love is more in love with you than i am with her

and i have been chasing her since she took my money
and my poems and my sobriety and ran

and I have been out of breath since
she gave them all to you