The Six Word Memoirs of Love by Elizabeth DeBunce

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The Six Word Memoirs of Love

When you walked in the room,
my whole body became a heartbeat.
Shirts fell like shades from windows.
Your red color poured over me.
Love was serif font, entwined tongues.
The way the seasons filed by,
strung on twine like Chinese lanterns;
my mind like an ocean rising,
filling hollows in your glacier flesh
my salt diluted with your water.
Afraid I would never love right.
How many – how many times had
I said it: I love you.

For you, love was an autoclave:
sterile, mechanical, falling asleep during sex.
It was spaghetti sauce from jars,
a painful tuxedo, a should-would clause.
You left lists under the pillow,
poems about someone else’s sculptured palms,
lust you had already given away.
Shopping list of people not me.

Love became goodwill’s doorstep; it was
chasing you doorstep to doorstep, begging.
Me, hanging from the yew tree:
clinging to a love that would
rather murder, rather snap, rather not
have grown at all. How I
forgave you. How I groveled like
a woman. And you thought brothel
was the Finnish word for love.

Elizabeth DeBunce

Elizabeth DeBunce is a writer from Southern Oregon who is currently majoring in English and Classical Studies at Lewis & Clark College. She spends most of her free time knitting hats, listening to The Mountain Goats, and writing about eggs, whether metaphorically or not. Her work has previously appeared in (parenthetical): the zine, and the Gold Man Review. More of her work can be found at