Love/Hate by Numbers

1 –
I fucking hate your boyfriend. Not because he’s a douchebag: I’m sure he’s smart and talented and funny, buys rounds at the bar and helps parapelegic kittens cross the street to get to their dialysis appointments. I hate him because he’s your fucking boyfriend. And I thought I was going to be your boyfriend up until you dropped that damn bomb on the room before telling me and giving me the chance to hide my disappointment from everyone.

2 –
Call me Lucifer, the Morningstar, tempting you in the desert as you’re starving and parched, pining for the purchase of moisture and morsels; first Loved, cast out for the love of the First man, because I would not bow to his perceived superiority.

3 –
The drive home is heartache and exultation, remembering the way your lips stretch when you smile, your brown eyes in the bar light and the slow commute arm-in-arm back to your car – your experiences, dreams, heartaches and fears as apparent as the skin I was stroking as the alcohol was wearing off and the hours faded in those perfect moments.

4 –
This is not the first Temptation. There were others before you. That is why I was so hesitant to let our lips touch, tasting the holy wheat that makes up your body. I have partaken of forbidden sacraments before and it broke my heart. They burned and the scabs are still smoldering, hellfire and brimstone bubbling beneath my skin. I have not forgotten them – but your soft skin is the rememberance of heaven made manifest.

5 –
A black widow spider lays two egg sacs on my porch, against the sliding glass door. Her mates’ corpse dangles moldering from her haphazard web. I envy him, because his end was quick caught up in his bliss – here I am departed from her, looking for you, and you won’t bite – you just nibble gracefully, taking the pieces of me that I offer up willingly. I squash her eggs with a sooty spoon and kill her two days later – her grieving makes it easy, for both her and me.

6 –
Call me Queequeg, a bonded man onboard the ship of a madman, caught up in a mission only he understands. Quiet observation beneath flimsy tattooes that are testament to a strength that is waning. I have quit the tomahawk and my harpoon has rusted – it aims at the whale that belongs to another.

7 –
Her Facebook haunts me. Every profile picture, every status update that dallies itself deliberately into my News Feed. It’s hard to pretend she cares about me when she posts about everything but me. She’s broken up from her boyfriend but we broke up well before then. That was the last temptation and we claim to still be friends. Like before, I dote and she keeps me out the lens. Meeting you made it seem like I was more than on the mend. I don’t say this now to hurt you, but to disregard it would be pretense.

8 –

9 –
That’s the silence that keeps bumping into our conversation, the listless looks longly over eyelids that beg us to forget about your damn boyfriend and do what we’ve wanted since nine o’clock last night. I had asked you where you’d been, and you told me, ignoring the real question and giving me facts instead. I’m not writing this because I’m in love with you, but because given the opportunity, I’m fairly certain I could be.

10 –
Kali courses through my veins rampaging – “Tear down,” she exclaims, “and rebuild anew.” Devotion to her is easy and there is an altar built of bones being made inside my heart though I desperately wish it weren’t necessary. I don’t want a love hewn from deceit, being carved in being discreet; I want this in someone available, but here I am again becoming the guy on the side, Morningstar on the horizon and burning brightly alight.

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