They call me
“romantic” with
knives between
their lips, as if I am
asking for each word
to be built from the
ground from flower
beds and open
hearts.

They do not
understand
my romance.

I want to be strung
up by my ankles,
ripped open, emptied,
and told that what
I am made of is
beautiful, even as it
stains the kitchen
floor, your skin, our
conversations.

There is infinite
romance in truth.

I do not want to be
bottled, gathering
time in your shelves
until your birthday
or a bad night or
after she leaves when
you just need
something to help
you fall asleep.

In my romance,
I am not
swallowed whole.

to be the last romantic, Emma Bleker