love catches your eye in the mirror, says be kinder to yourself.
you ignore love, swiping your phone off your desk your wallet from the table;
the lock clicks quietly behind you.

love wraps its fingers around your heart, squeezing and squeezing and your heart skips a beat.
you gulp discreetly, look away for a second, wrestling love’s grasp–
her arm is still linked through yours.

love glares at you through the burning flames in their eyes.
your heart twinges. you snap back front up all sarcasm and wit,
they’re still seething. love is warped.

love reaches out, all concern and worry you okay?
you grin, laugh it off don’t worry about me.
your heart’s still racing against time itself.

love hurts, all sharp edges and smouldering corners.
you stare back, empty and unfeeling.
family, huh. this is love? you snort.

love fades, withdrawing tendril by tendril.
you watch, empty, as she finds someone better.
you shrug, heart stinging. inevitable from the start.

love watches you watch it, a husk to a shell.

you don’t see love in the mirror anymore.
(you wonder if it was ever there at all)


-Cherly Tan