What They Tell You

a poem

They’ll tell you, “It’s just a broken heart.

You’ll live.” They never told you that the shards

will cut deep into your bones,

will be carried by your bloodstream

and hurt every time you breathe.


They’ll tell you, “It’ll be okay one day.

You’ll see.” They never told you that day

is at the end of a winding stretch. That

that day will come only when

you agree to it. And you’re not

sure if you can.


They’ll tell you, “There are many fishes in the sea.

You’ll find another.” They won’t tell you

not to bother because he was it. Or that

he could have been,

if you had let him.


They’ll tell you, “How will you know,

if you don’t even try?” They won’t tell you

about the many aches that belie

every smile,

every endearment,

every hello,

that comes with goodbye.


They’ll tell you, “Love should be free.

You should be happy!” But they never see

the borders, the fences that a lover makes

from the steadfast decision to not break

the ties that bind a heart to a heart.

Or that freedom isn’t happy

when you are apart.


They’ll tell you, “Don’t think too much.

Just go with it.” You can’t tell them the bit

about your heart being so whole

and intact,

the fear that comes with giving your all…

and giving

and giving,

and not getting back.

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