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Heartbreak Warfare

Despite what they tell you, despite what you’ve heard over and over; two broken halves don’t make a whole. Two broken halves never quite fit back the same way, even with the world’s best glue and tape. There will always be missing pieces, missing fragments that got swept under the sofa or lost between the floor boards. And my darling, we had lost so many pieces, growing up. We had lost so many fragments and pieces of ourselves in corners and clenched fists around world, that our two halves, never quite made a whole.

There’s this thing about loneliness. Once you get used to it, once you get good at it, it’s hard to go back from that. And for that, I am sorry. I could never be your whole, despite you desperately wishing that I was. Despite you desperately wishing that I could be.

You see, despite the lost pieces, I had made a whole by myself – gathering up pieces I thought I needed along the way. Gathering up pieces I didn’t think I needed, desperately trying to fix my own puzzle. When you came along, I thought maybe you were a missing piece, but you were your own puzzle. My darling, you were your own puzzle, desperately trying to find your missing pieces. And it killed you, that I wasn’t one of them.


Yours truly,

Painted Shadow



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This is not a love poem.

If I were to write a love poem

I would stitch my fingertips to the constellation of stars on your back

so my fingers would never get lost in translation

I would trace the outline of your body

and draw maps better than Google,

my fingers would find every small dent,scar and bump along the way.

I would kiss you until the name of your lover was erased from your tongue

I would sing you songs about the stars and the moon

and when they collide; when our lips finally touch,

I hope to God they’ll form a world around you.

I would whisper stories about your smile
to the birds and the wind

and watch it sing back the stories for everyone else to hear.

I would argue and debate and fight

that comfort can only be found in the

depths and corner of your thudding heart.

If I were to write a love poem,

I would name it after you.


Yours truly,

Painted Shadow

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T for Trouble

Your name rolled off my tongue
smoother than a bottle of 35 merlot
You were all smiles and charm,
Smart words and longing looks.
Your arms; all built and mesmerizing
Vowed to hold me up like a tower
That was never meant to stand on its own
Like a tower that could easily collapse.
Your glazed glistening eyes
Would torment my moving lips
That desperately tried to form words in to clever sentences,
But ended up being strings of broken cobwebs in the wind
And stronger than the force of that wind,
I was blown over when our hands touched for the briefest moment.
I was the teenager with a rebellious streak
And you were trouble with a capital T
Holding a board with my name.  In bold. Underlined twice.

Yours truly,

Painted Shadow

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Little Things

I notice little things
a little too much,

I notice the smallest things about a person
a little too often

Like the birthmark at the corner of her neck
isolated and perfect,
my empty hand already writing stories about it.

I notice the jagged lines and dents on his forearm
creating valleys that I wanted to get lost in,
as he stirred his black coffee.
I memorized their rhythm
and just like a snake;
I was fixed in a trance watching his movements.

I notice things like
your off shaped tooth
or the funny scratch on your eye brow

I notice when your eyes twinkle
and when they go dim

I try not to on some days though.
But most days, I enjoy noticing things
Little things.

Yours truly,

Painted Shadow

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Damned and Forgotten.

I’m far more skeptical than I thought.

I’m sitting here in an empty room

Thinking of reasons why you and I will not work;

Thinking of reasons why I shouldn’t feel this way about you;

Thinking of any reason to stop this.

If it had been any other person

Who didn’t show half the interest you did,

I would have convinced myself to the moon and back

That he was the ideal person for me.

Even if he promised to rip my beating heart out and toss it away for the birds,

Even if he vowed to grip it so tightly until the last thud

Even if he did everything in his power to break my bones

I would have convinced myself that he loved me.

But with you,

My darling, with you,

I seem to be looking for reasons that don’t exist.

I seem to be looking for reasons to tell you no

To push you away

To not be yours.

For you,

I am not convinced.

I am ruined.

I am damned.



Yours truly

Painted Shadow


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Come Pick Me Up.

One night I will wake up just before the clock strikes 3 am

I will roll over and pull my blanket around me;

As I roll over I will find the warm wall your body built

between me and the edge of the bed.

One day when I wake up at 3 am,

I won’t have my thoughts keeping me awake

instead the drumming of your heart

will sing me a sweet lullaby

until I drift back to sleep.

One day when I wake up at 3 am,

it won’t be because the monsters under my bed

are talking loudly, but instead,

it might be because your snoring in my ear stirred me awake

or you pulled the blanket all the way to your side

or just because.

One day when I wake up at 3 am,

I won’t be searching for my phone to text you about the dream I just had

instead, I’ll wake you, or try to at least, and tell you about it.

One day.

One can hope, that One day.


Yours truly,

Painted Shadow



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Are you alive?

I worry that you were one of the 61 that were killed.

I worry that maybe you were on that busy street

walking by;

or just standing there, watching the world float by.

I worry that you might have been in the wrong place

at the wrong time

and that maybe, you were one of the 61 that were killed.

or one of the 79 that were killed last month

or one of the 500 killed that were killed this year.

I wish I knew if you were okay

I wish I knew if you escaped

just like you always wanted to

I wish I knew if you got out alive.


Yours truly,

Painted Shadow