Owen Welsh – Don’t Call This A Love Poem

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Don’t call this a love poem. This is a lament. This is me bemoaning the days I spent groaning over the way my breath evacuated from my body at the sight of you. Every breath I take to spit a line of this poem is me reclaiming the air I gasped every time I saw you. These long inhalations are revenge for the shortness of breath.

Don’t call this fascination caused by infatuation. This is me reminding myself to never mistake indifference for undisclosed interest ever again. If you taught me anything, it was to show my interest in someone I fancy early so I don’t get antsy wondering if they feel the same way about me. It was learning that there’s no honor in keeping your love inside, and there’s no satisfaction in love not shown.

Don’t call this longing. This is me looking back in the past and not looking at you and how perfect you were, but looking at myself and asking what the fuck was I thinking thinking your were perfect? This is me looking instead at the boy who DID return my interest, at the investment of time I’m still earning interest from because he helped me grow as a person more than I ever could have had I settled for settling down with you.

Don’t call this missing you. I missed you when I was hungover after getting drunk on you, but my sober eyes see now that there’s nothing to miss. I’ll get tipsy on finer spirits from here on out, because you were the cheap beer I desperately reached for when nothing else was available. But even in my current dry spell, I don’t miss your horse piss.

Don’t call this missing what we could have had. I believed in our love like I believed in Santa Claus or the monsters under my bed, but I’m no longer captivated by the fairy tails, by the promises that good little boys will get what they deserve in the end. And I don’t miss wondering if those feelings laid there in your head like the monsters under my bed. I’ve looked under the bed enough to know that I’m really sleeping alone, and I’ve looked in the hearts of men enough that I don’t spend time wishing for something I know isn’t there.

Don’t call me anything other than someone you used to know. I’m done calling you anything other than a lesson learned.

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