You called me "perfect" the night before our love got lost.
Choosing to ignore the cracks, the tremors, the fore-shocks,
You kissed me. Black raspberry and bittersweet chocolate.
You were standing on San Andreas Fault, and I cried.
Your eyes have always lied to me.
On the day you left, I learned to hate you.
You were remodeling your life and I no longer fit the decor.
I was a paint-by-numbers landscape,
And you wanted a Degas, or perhaps a Matisse.
You left me out in the sun for a yard sale.
But I am not a watercolor, and will not wash off.
I gave your ghost a baptism in salt water,
But my eyes only turned red from the effort.
I tried exorcism with fire and with blood,
But could not pluck you out of my heart as I might a weed.
I learned to hate you, I learned to shout.
I learned that I could do without you.
But love is not a light switch.
--Christopher Caldwell, June 7, 1997