Nobody Ever Taught Us How To Love

New York 1960s

He loves me like a monster,
all teeth and talk and
hiding in the dark.
That’s my specialty—
men with strong bodies
and fragile hearts,
and if you hold them too tightly
they will crumble beneath you
like an avalanche that’s waiting.
Still, he looks at me like all things
beautiful and burning
and we love each other recklessly
with hearts so empty
our names echo against
vandalized walls that say,
“There was someone here before me,
listen closely and you’ll hear their name.”

He has matches for hands,
and I, a paper heart.
Gasoline will drip
from our mouths
and we will call that holy.
We will burn at the stake
and pollute the sky with
smoke and selfishness,
and we will say it was
in the name of a crooked love.
We will burn our own bodies
to the ground and we will
call that sacrifice.
We will tear ourselves open
like there’s something left inside.

Lindsey Hobart

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