Taxonomy of Breakups
Did you see the breakup coming?
How were the two of you before the breakup?
Who broke up with whom?
Are you in touch after the breakup?
Are you over the breakup?
You didn’t see it coming, especially because
she was swooning and said so.
She was kind and committed
soon before the breakup.
(She took you to the doctor,
took you home with her,
put you to sleep in her bed.)
Then she broke up.
She said that you could ask her why,
but only on the phone,
she didn’t email about such things.
But you were out of questions by then.
You miss her and
the breakup hurts.
You saw it coming, but only looking back, because
she had been so loving.
(She sang to you in bed,
she left her seat at dinner to sit on your lap.)
She had complained only once before.
The breakup was her doing.
She sent a friendly email months later,
but you didn’t want to be her friend.
You miss her and it hurts,
You saw it coming from the night you met
(which was also the night you first kissed,
that warm November night,
when you rolled down her car window, played the radio loud,
danced in the parking lot, and laughed at the police cruiser gliding by).
Her only virtue, it turned out,
Her erratic acts finally forced you to flee.
You told her that the farewell was final,
because you couldn’t get over her if you knew, if you hoped,
that she would contact you again, next month or years from now.
She hasn’t contacted you,
but you’re still not over her.
You knew that breaking up was possible, because
you both kept threatening to do it.
Things began joyously
(on your first date, you read each other poetry,
you gave her a necklace you had made
from a Noah’s Ark charm),
You unleashed fears in each other, like dogs bounding up from the cellar.
The breakup was mutual; so was the regret.
You told her that you would erase her messages without reading them.
She still sends emails and texts,
which you erase without reading.
You miss her and it hurts.
Ken Seide is the pen name of a resident of Newton, Massachusetts, USA. His love and post-love poems have appeared in New Vilna Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, SN Review, Soul-Lit, and elsewhere. His flash fiction appeared in Storm Cycle 2013.