What is Love? III: A Cage

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“A Bird in a Cage” | Sebastian Gomez 

Dear Love,
why don’t you love me?
Why do you like to punish me?
You possess and drain my strength,
but you let the other go scot-free.
When I am in you
and when I am not,
when you are in me
and when you are not,
I am always lonely.

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Unre-QUIT-ed VIII

“I don’t feel the same way about you.”
“I don’t feel the same way…”
“I don’t feel the same…”
“I don’t feel…”

There you are!

Feeling all things and everything
so intensely about a person
in the deepest parts of your soul,
losing the strength to be alone,
trying really hard to be whole,
and they “don’t feel” any of it.

Nothing hurts more.

Unre-QUIT-ed VII

He never expressed it;
he imprisoned the love he had for me.
Sometimes, it would try to escape
through his mouth,
but he would swallow it again.
At other times,
it would try to escape through his hands,
but he would pull them back.
After a while, he could not
hide it from his eyes;
I could see the love in his eyes.
He would shut them tight and look away,
and when he looked back at me,
I would see the imprisoned love again-
begging for freedom,
asking for help,
screaming my name…

Dead Love III

They didn’t fall out of love with you.

Love itself is a paradise-like pit;
where else can anyone possibly fall into
if they fall out?

They climbed out of the love you shared
without you.

You felt their footsteps;
you just chose to ignore it,
or get used to their struggling to get out,
while convincing yourself that they were
drawing closer to you.

Perhaps, you simply watched them leave
because there was nothing you could do.
Someone was helping them get out;
a paradise-like pit had been dug,
an old, slightly-covered one,
or a new one, out of the blue,
and you never knew.

Unrequitedly Requited II

You only fell in love with me
because I fell in love with you;
you were happier
before we became “we”.

Unre-QUIT-ed VI

It’s hard to be the girl of your dreams
when you don’t even dream
with your eyes open.
Perhaps you do,
but you don’t share them with me
so that I can dream with you.
I have nothing to look forward to,
except many nights of wishing I did.

‘No Use’ is Abuse II

She used to miss him more
when they were together
than she does now.
His absence was difficult
to deal with when he was present;
it isn’t now.

Killer-Healer II

You asked if I could die with you
and I said “yes”.
You didn’t ask if I would;
you didn’t say you were a killer.

I should have known
you were already dead.
No one can possibly die with
someone who is already dead.

You didn’t say you would
get me addicted to your love
and then stop giving it to me.
You didn’t say much.

Narcissus

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Richard Baxter – Narcissus and Echo (2000) – Detail

“I don’t love her
but I want to be loved by her.”

“Isn’t that the same thing?
You want her, right?”

“No, but I want her to want me.”

Dead Love

womanShe always had to ask if he loved her, and he often replied with a “yeah, yeah, love you, sure I do. Why do you keep asking?”

She was looking for the Àjọkẹ́, s’ó n gbọ́ mi? Mo nífẹ̀ẹ́ rẹ. The I am in love with you that was often said with a soft voice and a pleading gaze; it was what she was used to, what she had taken for granted. It was what she really wanted.

She hated herself for hurting a man who used to declare his love for her ever so often, sometimes with tears in his eyes, because he did so. 


There could be two different men in this piece, or just one man [the same man], depending on how you choose to interpret it.