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Ode to My First Love


Beautiful princess
sugar-sweet
I fell for you,
moon-eyed
over afternoons in school.

You hid amongst my textbooks
whispering your secrets,
the words of your mad heart
Oh, how I wanted to be
mad with you.

Heart pierced with lead
my darling sweet
cursed and used
I, your confidante
on spring days
while teachers droned
equations and gerunds
we’d escape to riversides
dancing like sprites,
collapsing in exhausted laughter.

I fell in love with your simple smiles
and blushing cheeks,
your innocent candor
fine fingers
and rose petal lips
wide eyes devoid of guile;
I imagined us in places
far far away from here.

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Always, though,
the shadow lay on you
and I knew he held your heart
in ways I could not
despite our days in the sun
conversations amid the grass
skipping stones
singing songs
as if Summer would last forever.

But pages turn
as young hearts burn.

You returned to your prince
as the leaves changed to red
and Summer ended
on those riversides
as you drifted by
sweet lips silenced.

The bard lied — 
I poisoned Laertes’ blade
to still the bastard prince
as I turned the page in rage
eager to witness his last breath.

When Summer came round again
I sat the river bank for both of us
and cried for you
with hidden tears,
Oh, my Ophelia,
now sailing the stars around Caelus
at once free from madness,
yet bound for eternity
in tragedy.

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