March 29, 2021

How Can I Trust Again when Love Breaks My Heart?


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There are times when the heartbreak of a love gone wrong elicits deep feelings that we might never again trust our heart to another lover.

Some of us take to the bottle. Some of us bury ourselves in binging—food, Netflix. We writers, we pick up the pen and write a poem.

There was a time when the sea
soaked into my Southern California bones,
dry and brittle like the heat there;
keeping me in a sultry, lusty dream.

A love time that was anything but gentle;
liking to pick at my bones,
chew me, spit me at the pavement
to sputter like a frying egg
or crawl like a lizard back
to a place damp and cool.

The wind refused to move me,
but would tear at my sails,
making my voyages hazardous.
And the sailor would always abandon ship.
No loyalty there.

The salt air stung me—peeling the skin away;
aiming always at the heart,
exposing that tender part to the sun
so it could become dry and porous again.

I was the crab—belly up;
turned by some unthinking boy,
laying still, then writhing again,
waiting for something to come along and turn me over.

The sea moves, the sand shifts,
and this lucky crab is turned again;
belly crouched anxiously toward the sand,
looking quickly from side to side.

She tucks herself neatly under a rock.
Surrounded by her magnificent shell,
she will entrust the tender meat inside
to no one.


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