after everything and everyone I’ve ever known

I live by maps and love by stars.
Find the patterns, trail his footsteps,
follow lovers back to their homes.
Feed me sequence: crack an egg,
pour the flour, beat until light.

There are roles to play. Everyone
you meet is an archetype of another.
Thinking this way, I am only
an amalgamation of everything
I’ve seen. Hollywood starlets
of black-and-white films. Pretty
smiles on pretty girls with prettier
minds. There is no such thing
as an authentic original. Every idea
is an act of deflowering. I can try
but I only end up infringing
on someone else’s copy. You
and I— we didn’t invent romance.
Neither did Juliet and her dagger
or any man holding a boombox
over his head to win the girl.
But god, when you make me
break every rule I’ve ever written,
it sure feels a lot like we did.

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