LOVE AFTER

They always say it’s your first love that haunts you, lives in your bones, cracks and aches with each uneven step. But I don’t as much as flinch when I come across old sweatshirts or park benches that might as well have his name spray painted on them. It’s the loves that came after, the not-so-sure loves, the messy ones and the ones that may not have been loves at all, more of infatuations. Those are the loves that pinch my skin when I crawl into bed at night and tug at my lungs, making it hard for me to catch a breath. My heart didn’t break evenly with those, it was chipped off in sharp pieces- left in driveways and school parking lots of towns that I don’t remember the name of. It’s the loves that I write anxiously about until 4 o’clock in the morning, while the world is fast asleep with their hearts tucked safely away underneath their pillow case, or maybe in the hand of a man wearing expensive cologne- at least until the morning. But mine? I don’t even know where mine is, and that is why my hair is always tangly and my feet never sit still. So as for first loves, they’re magical really- but you’ve never experienced blood curdling, tauntingly wonderful bliss, until you’ve met the loves that come after.