In(Re)trospective

The beads of summer
sweat coated your upper lip;
a foil to the chilly
distance of
my heart’s malcontent.
Cheeks would blush.
Flushed.

Your hair, a
curtain of auburn mimicry,
brushed my brow with
each lustful kiss.
Pressure enough to
freeze time.

We marched through
our passion, always
just out of

step.

I wanted what was best; you wanted
me.
Burns and scars forced
me to pave the road to hell.
You never wanted to
hurt me,
just yourself.

How many have I pined after
in your wake?
How few reciprocated? How
could I replace what was
lost?
But a relationship cannot be
built on lies and
no matter how much I wanted you,
it just wasn’t
meant
to be.

I hardened my heart
in the hope of
saving yours.
I left you crying
amid the laughter of children
on that summer day.
Such promise; such potential
gone
because of my best intentions.
So many false starts, swearing oaths
I couldn’t help but
break.

I wanted you to get
better;
and you did (I think).
You met shortly after our split.
A decade later and
you’ve been together
through it all.
For what seemed an age,
I watched from afar and remembered
who we used to be.

Ten years on and we’re different people.
A gold band now tips the scale of your left hand
while the pair of mine remain
balanced.

It seems a
lifetime ago.
It might as well have been.
And the worst part is

I couldn’t
care
less.

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Are You Ok, Cupid?

When people hear the name “Cupid”, they usually picture a winged, infant archer who brings love, lust, and romance. I have come to think of him as a smirking little brat who enjoys setting up the select few while making the rest of us fumble through forced icebreakers, awkward dates, and the eventual repetition of it all.

Since beginning my online dating journey in 2014, I have: been on five dating sites, three dating apps, gone on five actual dates, been catfished twice, and entered zero relationships, meaningful or otherwise. I have spent hundreds of dollars over the last five years in membership fees with close to nothing to show for it. I have tried to put almost every permutation of my personality into my profiles: my humor, my intention for a serious relationship, my likes and dislikes; all to no avail.

So what’s the appeal? Is it just a game where you swipe through and shop for a person? When is it reduced to sending a message in the hopes of a response notification that shoots dopamine to your brain without understanding that there is another person on the other side of those messages? Perhaps it is the last hope of those of us fighting the gravity of the realization that we may be single forever. Sure, there are plenty of fish in the sea, but what happens when no one thinks you’re a catch worth keeping?

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What It Means to Be Alone

It is a strange thing to look around and come to the realization you are alone; it is even more strange to comprehend that you don’t mind it being this way. But how did you get here? Did everyone leave you, or was it a slow process of elimination until you were the only one left? Isolation can be comforting, especially for introverts, but is it healthy? At what point does cynicism overrule optimism and force you to accept your isolation? They say that hindsight is 20/20, so let’s take a look back at how this came to be, and what it means to be alone.

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