Your love was like aspartame

it was sweet on my tongue until I knew exactly what it was

I loved you cautiously

waiting for any movement

waiting for you to show me what I was already suspecting

and when you didn’t,

I dove in headfirst

headfirst with the toe still out

headfirst with my hands still on the rail.

I didn’t want to let you have all of it

and when I tasted your aftertaste

I realized that you were no sweet sugar

no sucrose or sugar cane

you were fake

and I when I tried to get out

I was just too deep to come back up for air without drowning.

And so I drowned in you

And I realized I had always been drowning

And you didn’t care

Even when I told you that my lungs were filled with your hurt.

And so I stopped fighting to breath,

And pulled myself out of the deep end.

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