Add up all your parts.
Each piece of your memory,
All the shreds of your life.
Gather up the old film reels,
black and white and spotted with age.
Search for the yellowed pages
where you wrote things
I wasn't supposed to read.

I never understood why, exactly
but I went along anyway
except when I could get away with it.

I appreciated poetry and fine art
that made me feel something
that filled me, that completed me
if only for the second it took
for me to read that one line.
To see that one brush stroke.
You appreciated poetry and fine art
in a cold way, I suppose.
You lectured me about sonnets and polygons,
sucked the romance out of Dali and Neruda.

You wanted to shut out any way to hurt
and all I wanted to do was feel it all.
I hid behind my words and sketches,
I hid in the blue, in my dreams,
while you tore down my walls.
You called it love.

At first, I thought we completed each other.
What a sophomoric notion.
What a joke, that you would…
need me.

You completed yourself,
all by yourself.
You said to me,
"I don't need you."
while you tore down my walls,
I told myself that one day you'd understand.

I said one day you'd stop hurting me.
You would stop tearing down my walls
and my dreams and my blue,
stop tearing down my words and sketches
to lecture me about sonnets and polygons
to tell me you loved me
as I picked myself up off your floor.
I wiped the dust off my jeans,
put cover-up on that black eye,
built a wall around my heart,
the one you loved tearing down the most.
I realized that my entire existence
was just a inarticulate bit of symbolism to you.

You called it love.