Our Love is as Pretty as it's Going to Get

By EJ Galvin

Don’t speak of our love in roses,
the last roses I received, months before you, lie as brown as old bruises and dead, swept away in corners of my bedroom, hiding with pictures of the one who gave them to me
Don’t speak of our love in lifetimes,
the first one to love me had no hesitation in trying to take his, lost as soon as I denounced the affection I had for him, any lust for himself gone as I blinked
Don’t speak of our love in promises,
all those promises made are broken, sweet, fierce words of “I’ll never hurt you”, “you are so beautiful”, “I’d do anything for you”, “I’ve never loved anyone more than you”
Don’t speak of our love, not in roses that wilt, not in lifetimes that end, not in promises feeble and unheard
We are not so romantic, not so poetic
Instead, speak of us as Mongols, tearing and conquering through each other, our lives, leaving nothing but marks and scars on our minds
Speak of us as stars, not dainty, not pretty, but fiery, beautiful, raw, powerful in the wake of space
Speak of us in storms, to the rhythm of thunder and lightning, the flash of us followed by the roars, the rumbles of old lovers’ cries
Speak of us as whispers, shared through classrooms by giggling children, pressed against lovers’ necks, prayers to the dying
Speak of us as tears, always there, always there, so gentle, so violent, no matter how hard we try to hide
Speak of our love as tragedy, as permanent, as larger than life
For we are not so romantic, not so poetic