A Heart Broken In Three Pieces

1st Piece - What the hell is love? - July 2005 ​


I’m eight years old,
and know one thing for sure,
I love my mother.

At twelve,
I think I love Jesus.

At fourteen
I love Maureen,
but she likes my best friend.

At sixteen
I’m in love with Cass,
but I’m dating her best friend.

At eighteen I’m just angry.
I think no one loves me,
and I hate everyone.

At twenty-one,
Rosie really loves me,
but for almost a year,
I’m too drunk to notice
that she’s a hooker,
and too drunk to care,
‘cause I don’t love her.

At twenty-three
I’m madly in love with Carol;
We’re even engaged,
until she dumps me
at twenty-five
when I confess
I want to be an actor
and not
the middle class banker,
I promised her.
I’m being selfish,
but still I’m heartbroken.

At twenty-six
Sharon and I are deeply in love,
but she tortures me
with flirtations
and endless tests
to prove that I love her.
After three years
of fights, anxiety, and exhaustion,
I just quit loving her.
It‘s then she chooses
to be the woman
I originally fell in love with,
but it’s too late.
It’s over.
She asks if we can at least
be “fuck buddies”.
I say, “Sure!”

At thirty
I’m in love with Eileen,
but it’s the onset of “Women’s Lib”
and she weighs our relationship
in terms of what
her “Woman’s Group”
feels is appropriate.
She dumps me
because they say,
I’m too “sexist”
and not a “sensitive” enough man.
She leaves a parting message
on my answering machine saying,
"Thanks. You helped me grow”.
Grow what?  A dick?

At thirty-two
I’m living with Susan.
She’s a free spirit
and feels
an open sexual relationship
is necessary to fulfill herself
as a “woman”.
She runs off to live upstate
in a tee-pee,
with some hippie,
and leaves her needy sister behind,
until I work up the courage
to ask her to leave.

I sleep with a lot of women
during these summers of “Free Love”
but don’t have much fun.
I get “The Clap” three times.

A friend offers a telling observation:
“Ya’ know, all the women
you fall in love with
are really the same fucked up person,
they just look different”.

Wow!
A moment of clarity?
She offers a blind date
with her best friend
to prove her point.
I accept,
and believe I feel real love
for the very first time.

Almost 40 years later,
I find myself still asking,
“What the hell is love?”
and realize
that I may never know.
The feeling now seems
more an abstraction
than a tangible sensation.

At this late stage of life,
I feel I know
as little about love
as when I started.
I’m very grateful
for the love I’ve been given,
but have no clear feeling,
for how much,
I’ve ever honestly returned.

................................................

2nd Piece – Love Found  - June 1997


I lived life before you
with a hole in my heart
where love belonged.
There was no pain,
just a deep hole
through which tears sparkled
like distant stars
and time,
like dry air,
rushed through
with a hollow empty sound.

 

Awareness of that hole
was a constant,
dull, aching,
deep in the chamber
of my chest;
a longing
for someone to love me,
and for me
to love in return.


A laughing black angel
brought us together
on St. Marks Place
our “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”.
We came to that place
from other lives
bearing our baggage
of disappointments,
sadness, anger, and loss.

We could never
have found each other
in any other place or time,

for we were searchers
with shrouded eyes,
unsure of what we wanted,
and running from what we needed.


From deep within you
a silent sleeping cocoon
stirred to life
and surrendered a beautiful butterfly
that spread it’s wings
to cover the hole in my heart.

 

A long silent sigh
whispers joy in my soul,
a relief long awaited,
and hard come by,
for by then I believed
that happiness of the heart
belonged only to others.


At the midpoint of my life,
a hole in my heart was filled,
with more love than I imagined,
more love that I expected,
and more love than I deserve.

 

You are timeless in my eyes
and each birthday means only
that we have been blessed
with another year of sharing
happiness, love, and life together.


I would choose growing old
with you at my side
rather than eternal youth
without you.

On your birthday
know that you are loved
by me.     

............

3rd Piece -  Undone

A Heart Broken - in Three Pieces​