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Salt

He looks out over the asphalt sea below us,

The black tide dotted with colored buoy

With shiny silver brand symbols like

Ford and Dodge, Volvo and BMW on them.

He’s contemplative and his face brooded

On a thought like it was a recipe he was trying

And he couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t quite right.

“Have you ever been in love?” he asks.

Salt. It needs more salt.

I nod, trying to look sincere and serious because

It’s easier to nod than to admit the truth

Which is that I’m not really sure what that word means.

It’s too bland. Try some pepper for spice.

You see I thought that love was patient

But experience taught me that sometimes it will storm out

If dinner isn’t ready on time.

Where’s the thyme?

Someone told me that love was kind,

But there’s nothing kind about the way your lover

Will rip your heart out when they come to you and say “we need to talk.”

Love isn’t supposed to be envious

But all I can do is ache when I see how happy he is with another girl.

Try some more basil.

Love doesn’t boast,

But the only time I really felt worth anything was when he was

Bragging to his friends about how great his girl is.

Love isn’t suppose to be proud,

So maybe that’s why it fell apart anytime I felt my back straighten

At the mention of his name, knowing that everyone was aware he was mine.

Did you remember to use beef broth?

Love isn’t easily angered,

So it must not have been love if we argued and went to bed in silence.

I could say all these things,

blurt out the string of thoughts

Running through my head at a million miles an hour

While my crisis of emotion wreaks it’s havoc and makes me question

Whether or not I ever really felt love,

But I don’t.

Add some meat and make it a stew.

I nod. I try to look introspective.

I try to mirror that brooding, thoughtful, pensive face he’s making

As we watch the cars making their way in and out of the parking lot below.

I try to imagine it’s black sea water and eventually those

Christmas ornament carriages will sink down to a bed of heavy sand,

Forgotten like discarded toys from the hands of gods.

You have to stir it clockwise on high heat.

I’m focusing on that image in my mind

Because it’s easier than questioning

Whether or not I wasted years of my life

On what I thought was love, but wasn’t.

And if I’ll waste dozens more on more is but isn’ts.

Don’t forget to serve it with bread.

Because it’s easier to sit here

And pretend to be pondering the mysteries of the universe

Than to admit I’m not even sure what love is any more.

I’m preparing a meal of have and have nots, of will and will nots

Of Loves and Hates, Lies and truths.

Of brooding foreheads and thoughtful, distant stares.

Of Christmas ornament cars and pitch black waters.

I’m serving up the questions of my reality

The memories of my experiences for you to sample.

And I know what you’re going to say before the spoon reaches your mouth…

It needs more salt.  

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