Embezzeled Emotion

Catherine O’Brien

If I say ‘I love you’ and
you don’t say ‘I don’t love you’,
I cry fraudulence,
have we even had an argument?
Have you failed to fire my heart out of a circus cannon?
In this surrealness,
I walk a slanted tightrope back to you
Falling backwards
only to the sigh of the net. 

I trusted a fickle world
which spun me off balance,
my wooden boomerang of love
left its holster
spoiled its aim
failed to claim you
unaware of what was at stake. 

There I am, you’re not there,
some other where,
I am the notes you made in the margin,
decorative curls atop a milliner’s hat.
I speak wordlessly, emit not a whisper,
knowing you are inimical to me.
I am the weightlessness of an escaped balloon.

Yours is an archipelago I cannot reach,
settled far away. Under a sky of stained-glass windows, 
I limber and throw my cumbersome discus, flexing so you’ll see.
The ocean slurps the setting sun of our bad romance
Hope remains, though muted in diluted watercolour. 

Catherine O’Brien is an Irish writer of poems, flash fiction and short stories. She writes bi-lingually in English and Irish. She holds a Ph.D. in English Literature. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Eunoia Review, Mystery Tribune, Comhar, Flyover Country Magazine, Ellipsis Zine, Splonk, Flash Boulevard, Tether’s End Magazine, Indelible Literary Journal, Tír na nÓg, Selcouth Station Press & more. You can find her on Twitter @abairrud2021.