Ode to my dumb romantic heart

You softie, you cupid, you ruby
lipped ugly romantic, falling
for velvet tongued one night stands.
Pretending every date is an experiment when you know
it's a wish. Only allowing me to watch porn
if the couple is madly in love. That one really gets me. Where do you get off
being so hopeful? How do you keep your head high, after
rejection and heartbreak and
liars and gaslighters and ghosts? How do you devour
rom-com meet cutes, grand ballad
gestures, as if they are truth? How do you
find something in everybody worth
loving? Even if it’s just a glimpse through gap-
toothed smile.

You incorrigible idealist! You candy heart-
eyed marvel, congratulations on dragging me through the mud.
Congratulations on making me swoon for Mr. Wrong. Getting me
hung up on lip-pierced cashiers, waitresses
with stick and poke tattoos. If it were up to you,
I'd be out there crooning to every champagne lover
under pink moon. I'd be stashing my hair in lockets,
on weekly honeymoons, filling every
mailbox with handmade valentines.

We tug o war, I swallow
your foolish declarations, let my stomach digest
your unrequited curiosities. But I know
without you
my hand would go unheld. Without you my eyes wouldn't have lingered on him
across the room. Without you, I would have never
taken the chance.

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