Break Even

I needed you
to break me Irish Spring 
bar soap clean. 
Needed you to break me
like cellphone screen shatters
the day after warranty 
and no insurance
to play safety net with. 
Needed you to break me
in higher definition,
play me back 
at thirty frames a second
so the fractures in my smile
can be seen
with more meaning. 

Then,
let the shards 
fall where they may,
but if I have any say, 
let them fall 
where I’ve known love the strongest,
known love the deepest. 
Embed me
back into the walls
of your veins 
to pulse back into your heart. 
Inscribe me
into one of your valves
so I can feel
the current of your love again. 
Chamber me
into one of your ventricles 
and I will pump 
more than a heroic effort 
to keep us alive. 

Just, 
don’t let me feel
like I’m paddling ashore 
with one oar;
circling for reasons
why you’d leave 
without a ripple of an excuse 
to wave by me. 
I always thought
we had more depth than that, 
more weight 
than our mass. 

But if that’s not the case 
break me deep, 
break me even. 
I’ll add the odds of myself
into a sum short of you
to keep me whole. 

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Leave the Gloves

When true love
formally introduces herself
it’ll feel like
a sparring match gone wrong.
She’ll be seasoned in MMA
and carry an unblemished record
in the UFC
and you?
You’ll be decorated
with hand-me-down gloves
from a family tree
that left you ill-prepared
to land a love tap,
and forget about defense. 

She’ll punch you
square in the face.
Laugh.
Ask if you’re okay,
then repeat.
You won’t find
any of this funny,
but she’s just trying
to knock your ex
out of your future conversations;
so if you lose any teeth today,
you won’t lose their wisdom tomorrow. 

She
will then jab you with a combo,
a multiplicity of questions
to question your masculinity.
You
will pretend to be unphased
until she has you in a choke hold asking:
“Who’s
your
Daddy?” 

Understand,
she’s not trying to offend,
she just
needs to make sure
you know who you are
before approaching the mat.
Far too many men
have desired to fill her in
with half-hearted efforts
in filling themselves.
Now that she’s whole
she’s searching for another mind
to color out of the lines with and,
is that you? 

She’s going to play dirty.
Land cheap shots
below the belt,
connect your jaw
with an uppercut
after the bell has rung but,
there’s no refs in love.
The rounds
are eternal and
she’s going to need you to fight;
and if you can’t stand
on your own two feet
in a sparring match then,
tap out now.
Letting go
is the least you can do.
Please,
leave the gloves
for someone who’s worthy. 

Do it For You

You decided
to break my heart 
before we met. 
I decided
to love you still
with the pieces left. 

You said
you needed to do things
for you, 
for your happiness. 
I agreed. 
I too, 
needed confirmation 
that your smile wasn’t residual
to the afterthoughts of him. 

You made it clear
that a friendship
was what you needed,
one where trust
wouldn’t be ceded. 
I obliged
to hold your heart
til it hop scotched 
into a notch of love
it could be itself around. 

You, 
sounded more
bothered than okay, 
more flustered than
nothing’s wrong, 
more agitated than
you’re fine
but maybe, 
maybe I shouldn’t 
want to talk about it either. 

I’m not a knight
but a bleeder,
not a hero
but a seeker of
what more could I do
to help you forget him? 

What enchantments can I use
short of black magic
to pry your thoughts loose
from leeching on to him? 
How often must I remind you
that your soul
is far too beautiful
to keep cracking
over his faults?
How long
will you remain victim
to his vault 
of emotional assault? 

Please,
come back to me. 
I need you to remember
who you are,
need you to remember
that love is a promise
you made to yourself first,
need you to remember 
your worth 
will always be more valuable
than his barcodes
of depreciation. 

I beg of you, 
before he shackles 
the rest of your existence
to the rust of things you once were, 
to picture frames
of smiles you once knew;
I implore you 
to find yourself
in your scars, 
heal yourself
past the wounds, 
and love yourself
for you. 

Move

Move. 

Contrary 
to your exclusive beliefs 
she doesn’t want to be 
a couple dressed in secrets,
clandestine companions
furtively in fashion
with all things pretty privy. 

Move.

She’s told you
on countless occasions 
to make your manifestations of love 
a little more obvious like:
you can at LEAST
change your FB status 
to taken now. 
I mean it’s only been… 

Move. 

Remember that convo
where her eyes 
uncapped the vials of her tears, 
poured them into your lap
in hopes of saturating 
some part of you
to squeeze into action?
Why does she always
have to plead 
for you to… 

Move. 

Oh, you said
you’re waiting for the right time? 
Seven years post intros,
five years of exclusivity,
three years of officially
making it verbally official,
and all that falls under
“still dating?”  
I wonder
if she know this? 

[Move]
She thought
you were building
something together. 
[Move..]
You must’ve thought
her patience was eternal. 
[MOVE…]
She thought
you were different.

Watched you flirt 
with commitment
to so many other things
other than her, 
that now she questions
why her shadow vows
to even stay.

She wasn’t 
holding out for perfection,
clearly. 
She didn’t beg you
to rescue her,
didn’t ask
if you’d buy her the moon
when your account
boasts of craters bigger
than that found upon it.
She didn’t even take
Beyoncé’s advice 
to force you to put a ring on it and yet, 
she was good to you. 

All she asks now is that you

Move… 

LOL 

Three letters long
was your reply.
The idea acronym
for when you catch
a case of the funnies and,
you were laughing out loud
all over again.

It’s not that I don’t love
your episodes of jubilance
to be authored by me.
I’d gladly sponsor
every moment
your lips part open
to release an ocean of felicity but,
your waves of elation
are no longer exclusively mine
to love and cherish.

Your reply
inundated me with questions
that I’m ill-prepared to accept like:
Does he at least
have his associates
in making you laugh
like I did?
What octaves
can he make you reach
without tickling/cheating
it out of you?
Show me his diploma
in humor
and I bet
I could spot the watermark
from your local flea market.

But to all of these you’ll tell me:
“He’s a good man.”

You see you left me questioning
where did I go wrong.
If I can still provide you
an inkling of joy
to pen into your day,
when did that stop being enough.

I realize
that I’m the butt of the joke
in this predicament.
One day
I’ll laugh out loud about this
but today,
your last laugh will be with him and
to that I say:
“May you laugh hard,
and laugh long,
just remember me when you do.
#lol”

His Eye is On The Sparrow

When you discover
that every tear shed
will not purge you
of his memories;
that every fallen drop
isn’t equivalent
to the distance
he falls away from you;
that your
rain-forest eyes won’t reset
to detect a love
better felt than seen.

When you unearth the value
in your coarsest traits,
disassociate his appraisal of you
with his attention.
Your self-worth
has always been
independent
of his last name.

When you realize
your loyalty,
your commitment,
your efforts to
“stay the course”
while he detours
to another’s arms were all
to strengthen your knees
to kneel amidst the rocks
and find God
in the hardest of places.

When you realize
that every sip
of his rejection
is followed by the aftertaste
of finding yourself,
it’ll still taste bitter,
you’ll still want to chase it
with a gallon of whys.

It still won’t make you feel
any less used,
your time
no less wasted,
your love
no less abused.

But you
will love yourself better.
You’ll discover
that tears can indeed be for joy.
You’ll unearth
the precious,
the beautiful,
the richest
of jewels in you.

Most importantly,
you’ll flourish in his absence
when you’re alone
in His presence,
for His eyes
are always
on the sparrow.

Doomed to Fail (aka DTF)

She said,
her optimism is dying daily.

Fading fast 
in the hands of men 
who love to touch 
but never buy, 
show interest 
solely to shy 
away from commitment, 
leave her questioning
if the price tag of her morals 
are indeed too steep.

How long 
will they attempt to convince her 
that her worth should be on clearance,
her dignity 
on layaway,
her mind 
filing for bankruptcy 
when they can’t manage 
to hold a deep conversation adequately.

They 
tell her she’s loved instead 
with the receipt of their words 
ready to purge 
every accountability of the verb. 
Their insurance, 
is an assurance to leave 
she receives with 100% guarantee, 
no questions asked
when “putting out” 
no longer warrants them to stay.

She says, 
her optimism is daily dying.

Dying in the womb 
of her next relationship
before she ever meets 
Mr. Next. 
You’ll call her cold, 
even with 
your fingers on her thermostat. 
When 
did you ever think 
“DTF” 
was an acceptable 
“pickup line?”

She’s telling you 
that she’s losing faith in us!

And I know 
you’re not listening
because the game is on, 
you’re not listening 
because you only tune her in 
during commercial breaks, 
you’re not listening 
because children stay silent 
when adults are speaking.

When YOU 
finally learn 
how to approach a woman, 
you’ll probably expire
before the occasion occurs, 
but if you don’t, 
“DTF”
will still be 
an inappropriate approach, 
your imagination 
will at large 
be unimaginative, 
at worst 
the rejections will embolden you 
to use it more, 
at best 
you’ll still be 
doomed to fail.