Love With an Expiration Date

I don’t know love
Not the Monday, Tuesday, every other day love
Not the lifelong, singsong, nothing-can-go-wrong love
Not the sweetheart, work of art, till death do us part love
Not the wedding band, ain’t life grand, wanna hold your hand love
All I know is doomed love
Entombed love
Elephant in the room love
Love entwined with tragic fate
Love with an expiration date

I don’t have the mettle to settle
The weight of commitment like a kettlebell around my neck
A stinging nettle, or burning acetylene
Even the thought of meddling in these muddy waters has me backpedaling
Backtracking, backpacking to the past
To find in contrast, an outclassed outcast
So downcast that the iconoclast that surpassed him is flabbergasted
Aghast, he lambastes this harassed bastard
Taking to task this mask of moping coping mechanisms
A dope groping hopelessly at the end of his rope
Like a trope from one of his television programs

“Will they or won’t they?”
He sees echoed in a thousand fictional relationships
Stretched out for years, delaying the eventual payoff
And the disappointment that inevitably follows
The shitty last season after the main characters get together
And the magic has disappeared
The one aspect of humanity that television seems to accurately portray
So he balances on this tightrope
Between “will they” and “won’t they”
Chasing what cannot be caught
Wooing what cannot be won
Flirting with futility
Amassing a storehouse of regrets
The only trinkets that never lose their luster

But even the doomed love is hard to come by
Dependent as it was on the wellspring of naivete
That dries up with every passing day
I’ve come to miss those wasted passions
Fruitless attempts to fly on papier-mâché wings
I don’t fall any more
Don’t crack my collarbone on the canyon floor
But neither do I experience the exhilarant moment of belief
Before gravity has its way.

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